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of Toronto 


professor Hlfreo JSafter 

3anuars 15, 1941 

The Works 



The Works 




Letters and Journals. Vol. V. 








err - 1 ' -mmm**. - 

EEN I ; 



, /?- 



THE period covered by Volume V. of Byron's Letters 
and Journals (April, 1820 October, 1821) includes the 
remainder of his residence in the Palazzo Guiccioli at 
Ravenna and the commencement of his stay in the 
Palazzo Lanfranchi at Pisa. Within these dates the 
Italian Revolution broke out and failed; Count and 
Countess Guiccioli were separated by Papal decree ; the 
Gambas were exiled from Ravenna, and Byron followed 
their fortunes. 

The excitement of these events stirred Byron's literary 
activity. In poetry he wrote the Fifth Canto of Don 
Juan, Marino Faliero, Sardanapalus, The Two Foscari, 
Cam, Heaven and Earth, The Vision of Judgment, and 
The Blues. In prose, besides increasing his correspond- 
ence, he kept a Diary for January and February, 1821 
(Chapter XXL), filled a " paper-book " with " Detached 
"Thoughts" (Chapter XXIIL), and wrote the Two 
Letters to John Murray on Bowles's Strictures upon Pope 
(Appendix III.). 

Of the 183 letters, which belong to the period, and 
are printed in Volume V., 68 were unknown to Halleck, 


whose collection has hitherto been the most complete. 
The last letter in this volume, written to Moore from Pisa 
in December, 1821, is numbered in Moore's Life, 474; 
in Halleck's collection, 542 ; in this edition, 968. 

Apart from new letters, or from additions made to 
others which have hitherto been published in an in- 
complete form, the chief feature of fresh interest is 
the chapter (XXIII.) containing Byron's " Detached 
" Thoughts." Large extracts from this collection have 
been made in previous editions ; but the passages have 
been quoted in scattered fragments, without any indication 
of their order or connection. The original manuscript is 
now, for the first time, printed in its entirety. 

Attention has been kindly called by Mr. C. K. 
Shorter to a series of extracts from letters, published 
thirty years ago in a well-known magazine. With few 
exceptions, these extracts are taken from the genuine 
letters, written by Byron to Mrs. Leigh, which have been 
published in their entirety, from the original documents, 
in previous volumes of this collection. It is not known 
by whom the extracts were made, or by whose agency 
they reached the press : they are not only fragmentary 
in form, but, in many instances, when compared with the 
originals, they have evidently undergone considerable 
alterations. Two of these extracts purport to be taken 
from letters written in the autumn of 1820. In the 
circumstances, it has been decided not to include them 
in this collection. 


November 1 6, 1900. 




786. April 3. To Lady Byron I 

787. April 6. 2 

788. April 6. To John Hanson 3 

789. April 9. To John Murray 5 

790. April 1 1. ,, 7 

791. April 16. ,, 8 

792. April 18. To Richard Belgrave Hoppner .... 10 

793. April 22. ,, ,, .... 12 

794. April 23. To John Murray 16 

795. May 8. . 20 

796. May 20. ,, ,, 25 

797. May 20. To Richard Belgrave Hoppner .... 26 

798. May 20. To John Murray 27 

799. May 24. To Thomas Moore 29 

800. May 25. To Richard Belgrave Hoppner .... 33 

801. June i. To Thomas Moore 34 

802. June 7. To John Murray 36 

803. June 8. , 40 

804. June 9. To Thomas Moore 41 

805. June 12. To Richard Belgrave Hoppner .... 43 

806. June 15. To Charles Hanson 45 

807. July 6. To John Murray 46 

808. July 13. To Thomas Moore 48 

809. July 17. To John Murray 52 

810. July 20. To Richard Belgrave Hoppner .... 55 

811. July 22. To John Murray 57 

812. July 24. ,, ,, 62 



813. July 27. To John Hanson 62 

814. Aug. 2. To Charles Hanson 63 

815. Aug. 7. To John Murray 63 

816. Aug. 12. 64 

817. Aug. 17. 

818. Aug. 22. 

819. Aug. 24. 

820. Aug. 29. 

821. Aug. 31. 



822. Aug. 31. To John Hanson 69 

823. Aug. 31. To Thomas Moore 70 

824. Sept. 7. To John Murray 71 

825. SeptS. 73 

826. Sept. 10. To Richard Belgrave Hoppner .... 73 

827. Sept. n. To John Murray 75 

828. Sept. 14. , 7 6 

829. Sept. 21. 76 

830. Sept. 23. 77 

831. Sept. 28. 80 

832. Sept. 28. 81 

833. Oct. i. To Richard Belgrave Hoppner .... 86 

834. Oct. 6. To John Murray 86 

835. Oct. 8. 89 

836. Oct. 12. , 93 

837. Oct. 12. To John Hanson 97 

838. Oct. 13. To Richard Belgrave Hoppner .... 98 

839. Oct. 16. To John Murray 98 

840. Oct. 17. loo 

841. Oct. 17. ToiThomas Moore 104 

842. Oct. 25. To John Murray 106 

843. Nov. 4. , 107 

844. Nov. 5. To Thomas Moore no 

845. Nov. 9. To John Murray 113 

846. Nov. 18. 118 

847. Nov. 19. 121 

848. Nov. 23. ,, 128 

849. Nov. 30. To John Hanson 130 

850. Dec. 9. To Thomas Moore 131 

851. Dec. 9. 133 

852. Dec. 9. To John Murray 135 

853. Dec. 10. ,, 137 

854. Dec. 14. 137 


855. Dec. 22. To Francis Hodgson 140 

856. Dec. 25. To Thomas Moore 143 

857. Dec. 28. To John Murray 145 


858. Jan. 2. To Thomas Moore 212 

859. Jan. 4. To John Murray 216 

860. Jan. 6. , ,, 219 

861. Jan. n. , 221 

862. Jan. ii. , 222 

863. Jan. 19. , 224 

864. Jan. 20. , 226 

865. Jan. 20. , ,, 228 

866. Jan. 22. To Thomas Moore 229 

867. Jan. 27. To John Murray 231 

868. Jan. 28. To Richard Beigrave Hoppner .... 233 

869. Feb. 2. To John Murray 234 

870. Feb. 12. 237 

871. Feb. 15. To Elizabeth, Duchess of Devonshire . . 237 

872. Feb. 16. To John Murray 241 

873. Feb. 21. 246 

874. Feb. 22. To Thomas Moore 251 

875. Feb. 26. To John Murray 253 

876. March I. ,, 254 

877. March 2. ,, 256 

878. March 9. ,, ,, 257 

879. March 12. ,, 258 

880. March ,, 258 

88 1. April 3. To Richard Belgrave Hoppner .... 262 

882. April 21. To John Murray 265 

883. April 26. To Percy Bysshe Shelley 266 

884. April 26. To John Murray 269 

885. April 28. To Thomas Moore 271 

886. Mays. , 273 

887. May 8. To John Murray 275 

888. May 10. 276 

889. May ii. To Richard Belgrave Hoppner .... 279 

890. May 12. To Francis Hodgson 281 

891. May 14. To John Murray 285 

892. May 14. To Thomas Moore 286 

893. May 17. To Richard Belgrave Hoppner .... 288 

894. May 19. To John Murray 289 


895. Undated. To Madame Guiccioli 294 

896. May 20. To Thomas Moore 295 

897. May 25. To Richard Belgrave Hoppner .... 296 

898. May 25. To John Murray 297 

899. May 28. 30 

900. May 30. 3 

901. May 31. To Richard Belgrave Hoppner .... 302 

902. June 4. To Thomas Moore 33 

903. June 12. To Giovanni Battista Missiaglia .... 307 

904. June 14. To John Murray 38 

905. June 22. To Thomas Moore 39 

906. June 29. To John Murray 3 11 

907. July 5. To Thomas Moore 3 r 8 

908. July 6. To John Murray 320 

909- July 7- 321 

910. July 9. 322 

911. July 14. ,, 322 

912. July 22. 324 

913. July 23. To Richard Belgrave Hoppner .... 327 

914. July 30. To John Murray 3 2 9 

915. Aug. 2. To Thomas Moore 33 2 

916. Aug. 4. To John Murray 337 

917. Aug. 7. 338 

918. Aug. 7. 338 

919. Aug. 10. 342 

920. Aug. 13. , 343 

921. Aug. 16. ,, ,, ... 344 

922. Aug. 23. , 34 6 

923. Aug. 24. To Thomas Moore 349 

924. Aug. 31. To John Murray 35 1 

925. Undated. ,, 354 

926. Aug. 31. To J. Mawman 354 

927. Sept. 3. To Thomas Moore 355 

928. Sept. 4. To John Murray 357 

929. Sept. 4. ,, ,, 357 

930. Undated. ,, ,, 359 

931. Sept. 9. 36o 

932. Sept. 10. 36o 

933. Sept. 12. 361 

934. Sept. 17. To Thomas Moore 3^4 

935. Sept. 19. , 364 

936. Sept. 20. 369 



937. Sept. 20. To John Murray 369 

938. Sept. 24. 373 

939. Sept. 27. 376 

940. Sept. 27. To Thomas Moore 377 

941.. Sept. 28. To John Murray 378 

942. Sept. 29. To Thomas Moore 381 

943. [Mar. i.] To Lady Byron 382 

944. Oct. i. To Thomas Moore 384 

945. Oct. 4. To John Murray 386 

946. Oct. 6. To Thomas Moore 387 

947. Oct. 9. To John Murray 388 

948. Oct. 20. 392 

949. Oct. 21. To Samuel Rogers 394 

950. Oct. 26. To John Murray 396 

951. Oct. 26. 397 

952. Oct. 28. To Thomas Moore 397 

953. Oct. 30. To John Murray 400 

954. Nov. 3. 469 

955. Nov. 9. 472 

956. Nov. 12. ,, ,, 472 

957. Nov. 14. ,, 473 

958. Undated. 475 

959. Nov. 1 6. To Thomas Moore 475 

960. Nov. 17. To Lady Byron 479 

961. Nov. 20. To Douglas Kinnaird 481 

962. Nov. 24. To John Murray 483 

963. Dec. 4. 486 

964. Dec. 8. To John Sheppard 488 

965. Dec. 10. To John Murray 491 

966. Dec. 12. To Thomas Moore 493 

967. Dec. 12. To Percy Bysshe Shelley 495 

968. Undated. To Thomas Moore 495 




CANTO V. ... ... ... ... i 


FEBRUARY 27, 1821 ... ... ... 147 



1822 ... ... ... ... 403 


CAIN ... ... ... ... 469 



JANE CLAIRMONT ... ... 497 

II. GOETHE AND BYRON ... ... 503 



BYRON ... ... ... 593 



BYRON'S LETTER ... ... 60 1 

GUSON ... ... ... 604 



TAKEN IN MAY, 1823 ... ... ... Frontispiece 

LECTION ... ... ... ... To face p. 4 



CURRAN, PAINTED IN ROME IN l8ig ... ,, ,, 266 




HUNT 494 




DECEMBER, 1820. 


786. To Lady Byron. 1 

Ravenna, April 3, 1820. 

I RECEIVED yesterday your answer dated March 10. 
My offer was an honest one, and surely could be only 

I. Lady Byron's answer to Byron's letter of January I, 1820, was 
sent by him to Moore, in whose Diary it is published (Memoirs, etc., 
vol. iii. pp. 114, 115) 

"Kirkby Mallory, March 10, 1820. 

"I received your letter of January I, offering to my perusal a 
' memoir of part of your life. I decline to inspect it. I consider 
' the publication or circulation of such a composition at any time 
' as prejudicial to Ada's future happiness. For my own sake, I 
1 have no reason to shrink from publication ; but, notwithstanding 
' the injuries which I have suffered, I should lament some of the 
' consequences. 

" A. BYRON." 

Byron's reply, given above, was sent by him to Moore to forward 
to Lady Byron. 

VOL. V. ^* C 


construed as such even by the most malignant Casuistry. 
I could answer you ; but it is too late, and it is not worth 

To the mysterious menace of the last sentence 
whatever its import may be and I really cannot pretend 
to unriddle it, I could hardly be very sensible, even if I 
understood it, as, before it could take place, I shall be 
where " nothing can touch him farther." x I advise yo,u, 
however, to anticipate the period of your intention ; for 
be assured no power of figures can avail beyond the 
present; and, if it could, I would answer with the 
Florentine 2 

" Ed io, che posto son con loro in croce 

e certo 

LayZmz moglie, piii ch'altro, mi nuoce." 

787. To Lady Byron. 3 

Ravenna, April 6 l . h 1820. 

In February last, at the suggestion of Mr. Douglas 
Kinnaird, I wrote to you on the proposition of the 

1. Macbeth, act iii. sc. 2. 

2. Byron quotes from Dante's Inferno, canto xvi. lines 43-45. 
In Round 3 of Circle vii. of Hell, Dante meets three Florentines 
Guido Guerra, Tegghiaio Aldobrandi, and Jacopo Rusticucci who 
have sinned against nature. The latter is the spokesman 

1 ' Ed io, che posto son con loro in croce, 
Jacopo Rusticucci fui ; e certo 
La fiera moglie piu ch'altro mi nuoce." 

Rusticucci held a distinguished place in the councils of Florence, 
representing her (1254) in her foreign affairs. He owed his place in 
Hell to the savage temper of his wife, and his story is told by 
Benvenuto Rambaldi da Imola to illustrate the consequences of 
ill-assorted marriages. " Vir popularis, sed tamen valde politicus 
"etmoralis. . . . qui poterat videri satis felix . . . nisi habuisset 
"uxorem pravam ; habuit enim mulierem ferocem, cum qua vivere 
"non poterat ; ideo dedit se turpitudini." 

3. Printed from a draft in the possession of Mr. Murray. 


Dublin investment, 1 and, to put you more in possession 
of his opinions, I enclosed his letter. I now enclose you 
a statement of Mr. Hanson's, and, to say the truth, I am 
at a loss what to think or decide upon between such very 
opposite views of the question. 

Perhaps you will lay it before your trustees. I for 
my own part am ignorant of business, and am so little 
able to judge, that I should be disposed to think with 
them, whatever their ideas may be upon the subject. 
One thing is certain ; I cannot consent to sell out of the 
funds at a loss, and the Dublin House should be insured. 

Excuse all this trouble; but as it is your affair as 
well as mine, you will pardon it. I have an innate 
distrust and detestation of the public funds and their 
precarious [ ? ] ; but still the sacrifice of the removal 
(at least at present) may be too great. I do not know 
what to think, nor does any body else, I believe. 


I iec d . yours of March lo". 1 , and enclosed an answer 
(to Mr. Thomas Moore) to be forwarded to you. 

788. To John Hanson. 

Ravenna, April 6^ 1820. 

DEAR SIR, I have just received yours dated March 
22 d . Your January packet only arrived last Sunday, so 

I. Charles John Gardiner (1782-1829), who succeeded his father 
(1798) as second Viscount Mountjoy, and was created Earl of 
Blessington in 1816, had impaired his fortune by his taste for 
magnificence, passion for the stage, and reckless expenditure. He 
owned the Ormond Quays as well as Henrietta Street in Dublin, 
and it was on this property that Byron was advised to advance 
money. But the advance was in the end not made by Byron's 
trustees. Lord Blessington married, (i) in 1812, Mary Campbell, 
widow of Major Browne ; (2) in 1818, Marguerite Power, second 
daughter of Edmund Power, of Curragheen, co. Waterford, and 
widow of Maurice St. Leger Farmer, Captain 47th Regiment. 


that I shall put off replying to it for the present (as there 
is a witness wanting for the Scotch deed, etc.), and 
answer your March epistle, which, as you yourself say, 
is of much more importance. 
But how shall I answer ? 

Between the devil and deep Sea, 1 
Between the Lawyer and Trustee 

it is difficult to decide. Mr. Kinnaird writes that the 
Mortgage is the most advantageous thing possible; you 
write that it is quite the contrary. You are both my old 
acquaintances, both men of business, and both give good 
reasons for both your opinions ; and the result is that I 
finish by having no opinion at all. I cannot see that it 
could any way be the interest of either to persuade me 
either one way or the other, unless you thought it for my 
advantage. In short, do settle it among you if you can, 
for I am at my wits' end betwixt your contrary opinions. 
One thing is positive. / will not agree to sell out of the 
funds at a loss, and the Dublin House property must be 
insured; but you should not have waited till the Funds 
get low again, as you have done, so as to make the affair 
impracticable. I retain, however, my bad opinion of the 
funds, and must insist on the money being one day 
placed on better security somewhere. Of Irish Security, 
and Irish Law, I know nothing, and cannot take upon 
me to dispute your Statement ; but I prefer higher 
Interest for my Money (like everybody else I believe), 
and shall be glad to make as much as I can at the least 
risk possible. 

It is a pity that I am not upon the Spot, but I 

I. So Cuddie Headrigg, appealing to Claverhouse to save 
Morton from the Cameronians, found himself "atween the deil and 
" the deep sea." Old Mortality, chap, xxxiii. 


cannot make it at all convenient to come to England for 
the present. 

I am truly pleased to hear that there is a prospect of 
terminating the Rochdale Business, in one way or the 
other : pray see if out. It has been hitherto a dead loss 
of time and expences, but may I suppose pay in the long 
run; and if you could for once be a little qiiicker about that, 
or anything else, it would be a great gain to me and no 
loss to you, as our final Settlement naturally will depend 
in some measure upon the result. If the claim could be 
adjusted, and the whole brought to the hammer, I could 
clear every thing, and know what I really possess. 

Pray write to me (direct to Ravenna). I do not feel 
justified in the present state of the funds, and on your 
statement, of urging the fulfilment of the Blessington 
Mortgage, and yet I feel sorry that it does not seem 
feasible. At any rate, see Mr. Kinnaird upon it and 
come to some decision. Let me hear about Rochdale. 

Yours ever truly, 


P.S. Advance old Joe Murray whatever may be 
necessary and proper, and it will be deducted from my 
Bankers ace' 

789. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, April 9, 1820. 

D? S*, In the name of all the devils in the 
printing office, why don't you write to acknowledge the 
receipt of the second, third, and fourth packets, viz. 
the Pulci translation and original, the Danticles, 
the Observations on, etc.? You forget that you keep 
me in hot water till I know whether they are arrived, 
or if I must have the bore of recopying. 


I send you " a Song of Triumph " by W. Botherby, 
Esq 1 ?, price sixpence, on the Election of J. C. H. Esqre 
for Westminster (not for publication) ; 

Would you go to the House by the true gate, 
Much faster than ever Whig Charley went ; 

Let Parliament send you to Newgate, 

And Newgate will send you to Parliament. 

Have you gotten the cream of translations, Francesca 
of Rimini, from the Inferno ? Why, I have sent you a 
warehouse of trash within the last month, and you have 
no sort of feeling about you : a pastry-cook would have 
had twice the gratitude, and thanked me at least for the 

To make the letter heavier, I enclose you the 
Cardinal Legate's (one Campeius) circular for his 
Conversazione this evening : it is the anniversary of the 
Pope's tiaration, and all polite Christians, even of the 
Lutheran creed, must go and be civil. And there will 
be a Circle, and a Faro-table, (for shillings, that is they 
don't allow high play) and all the beauty, nobility, and 
Sanctity of Ravenna present. The Cardinal himself is a 
very good-natured little fellow, Bishop of Imola and 
Legate here, a devout believer in all the doctrines of 
the Church. He has kept his housekeeper these forty 
years, for his carnal recreation ; but is reckoned a pious 
man, and a moral liver. 

I am not quite sure that I won't be among you this 
autumn, for I find that business don't go on what with 
trustees and Lawyers as it should do, "with all 
" deliberate speed." They differ about investments in 

Between the devil and deep Sea, 
Between the Lawyer and Trustee, 


I am puzzled ; and so much time is lost by my not being 
upon the spot what with answers, demurs, rejoinders, 
that it may be I must come and look to it. For one 
says do, and t'other don't, so that I know not which way 
to turn. But perhaps they can manage without me. 

Yours ever, 


P.S. I have begun a tragedy on the subject of 
Marino Faliero, 1 the Doge of Venice ; but you shan't see 
it these six years, if you don't acknowledge my packets 
with more quickness and precision. Always write, if but 
a line, by return of post, when anything arrives, which is 
not a mere letter. 

Address direct to Ravenna ; it saves a week's time, 
and much postage. 

790. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, April 11* 1820. 

DEAR MURRAY, Pray forward the enclosed letter to 
a fiddler. In Italy they are called " Professors of the 
"Violin." You should establish one at each of the 


P.S. Pray forward it carefully with a frank : it is 
from a poor fellow to his musical Uncle, of whom nothing 
has been heard these three years (though what he can 
have been doing at Belfast, Belfast best knows), so that 
they are afraid of some mischief having befallen him or 
his fiddle. 

I. Published with the Prophecy of Dante, April 21, 1821. 


791. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, April 16, 1820. 

DEAR MURRAY, Post after post arrives without 
bringing any acknowledgement from you of the different 
packets (excepting the first) which I have sent within the 
last two months, all of which ought to be arrived long 
ere now ; and as they were announced in other letters, 
you ought at least to say whether they are come or not. 
You are not expected to write frequent or long letters, as 
your time is much occupied ; but when parcels that have 
cost some pains in the composition, and great trouble in 
the copying, are sent to you, I should at least be put out 
of Suspense by the immediate acknowledgement, per 
return of post, addressed directly to Ravenna. I am 
naturally knowing what continental posts are anxious 
to hear that they are arrived ; especially as I loathe the 
task of copying so much, that if there was a human being 
that could copy my blotted MSS. he should have all they 
can ever bring for his trouble. All I desire is two lines, 
to say, such a day I received such a packet : there are 
now at least six unacknowledged. This is neither kind 
nor courteous. 

I have, besides, another reason for desiring you to be 
speedy, which is, that there is THAT brewing in Italy 
which will speedily cut off all security of communication, 
and set all your Anglo-travellers flying in every direction, 
with their usual fortitude in foreign tumults. The 
Spanish and French affairs have set the Italians in a 
ferment ; l and no wonder : they have been too long 

I. In France, after the fall of Decazes, who, as Chateaubriand 
said, "slipped in the blood" of the Due de Berri (assassinated 
February 13, 1820), the Due de Richelieu abandoned the attempt 
to reconcile revolutionary changes with Bourbon principles. The 
Government became reactionary. The franchise was restricted, 
liberty of the press attacked, education entrusted to the clergy, and 

1 820.] ITALY IN A FERMENT. 9 

trampled on. This will make a sad scene for your 
exquisite traveller, but not for the resident, who naturally 

the loyalty of the army alienated by the treatment of imperialist 
veterans. Discontent, fanned by the songs of Beranger, spread 
rapidly. The chevaliers de la liberte allied with the Carbonari, and 
in their Ventes, or lodges, were enrolled men like Lafayette and 
Lafitte. Plots were formed which led to insurrections at Befort, 
Marseilles, Saumur, and La Rochelle. The attempted risings were 
suppressed ; the despatch of a military force into Spain, April, 
1823, relieved the discontent of the army, and the crisis was post- 

In Spain and Italy the revolutionary movement was more 
formidable, and for the moment more successful. In Spain, 
March 9, 1820, Ferdinand VII. was forced, by the insurrection 
headed by Riego and Quiroga, to take the oath of fidelity to the 
free constitution sanctioned by the Cortes in 1812, and abolished by 
himself in 1814. A similar demand for representative government 
was made by the Neapolitans. Ferdinand IV. King of Naples, 
and afterwards Ferdinand I. of the Two Sicilies, on his restoration 
to the throne of Naples (1815), promised a government in which 
' ' the people should be sovereign, and the monarchy only the de- 
" positary of the laws." But he afterwards bound himself by a 
secret treaty with Austria to introduce no principles of government 
opposed to those adopted in Austrian Italy. An insurrection, 
actively fostered by the Carbonari, broke out among the cavalry at 
Nola, July 2, 1820. The revolt spread with the utmost rapidity. 
Guglielmo Pepe, as Captain-general of the constitutional forces, 
entered Naples (July 6, 1820), and received a solemn oath, accepting 
the new Spanish Constitution, from Ferdinand, who declared his 
son, the Duke of Calabria, Vicar-General of the kingdom (July 13). 
In October, 1820, the sovereigns of Russia, Austria, and Prussia, 
met at Troppau, and, on their invitation, Ferdinand went to their 
adjourned conference at Laybach in December. In February, 1821, 
the allied sovereigns issued a declaration against the revolutionary 
constitution, and sent an Austrian army to re-establish and maintain 
the old system of government. 

Early in 1821 the Austrian army, under Marshal Frimont, crossed 
the Po and marched on Naples. The Neapolitans, under Pepe and 
Carrascosa, made a short stand near Rieti (March 7), but were 
defeated, and attempted no further resistance. Pepe fled to Barce- 
lona. Carrascosa made terms for himself with the Austrians, who 
(March 23, 1821) entered Naples. In the following May Ferdinand 
returned to his capital. 

A widespread revolution was preparing in Italy ; but it had no 
organization, and was crushed without difficulty. In Piedmont 
at Turin and Genoa the Spanish constitution was established, and 
the king, Victor Emmanuel I., abdicated in favour of his brother, 
Charles Felix (March, 1821) ; but the Piedmontese constitution- 
alists were defeated by the Austrians near Novara (April 8), and 


wishes a people to redress itself. I shall, if permitted 
by the natives, remain to see what will come of it, and 
perhaps to take a turn with them, like Dugald Dalgetty 
and his horse, in case of business ; for I shall think it 
by far the most interesting spectacle and moment in 
existence, to see the Italians send the Barbarians of all 
nations back to their own dens. I have lived long 
enough among them to feel more for them as a nation 
than for any other people in existence j but they want 
Union, and they want principle; and I doubt their 
success. However, they will try, probably ; and if they 
do, it will be a good cause. No Italian can hate an 
Austrian more than I do ; unless it be the English, 
the Austrians seem to me the most obnoxious race under 
the Sky. 

But I doubt, if anything be done, it won't be so 
quietly as in Spain. To be sure, Revolutions are not 
to be made with Rose-water, 1 where there are foreigners 
as Masters. 

Write while you can ; for it is but the toss up of a 
Paul that there will not be a row that will somewhat 
retard the Mail by and bye. 

Address right to Ravenna. 


792. To Richard Belgrave Hoppner. 

Ravenna, April 18, 1820. 

DEAR HOPPNER, I have caused write to Siri and 
Willhalm to send with Vincenzo in a boat, the camp-beds 

submitted. At Modena, Milan, Ravenna, and Florence, risings were 
expected ; but they either came to nothing, or were immediately 

I. " Voulez-vous qu'on vous fasse des revolutions a 1'eau rose ? " 
Marmontel, Mlmoires (fun Fire, etc., Livre xiv. (CEuvres com- 
pities, ed. 1818-19, torn. ii. p. 294). 


and swords left in their care when I quitted Venice. 
There are also several pounds of Mantoris best powder 
in a Japan case ; but unless I felt sure of getting it away 
from V. without seizure, I won't have it ventured. I can 
get it in here, by means of an acquaintance in the 
Customs, who has offered to get it ashore for me ; but 
should like to be certiorated of its safety in leaving 
Venice. I would not lose it for its weight in gold 
there is none such in Italy, as I take it to be. 

I wrote to you a week or so ago, and hope you are 
in good plight and spirits. Sir Humphry Davy l is here, 
and was last night at the Cardinal's. As I had been 
there last Sunday, and yesterday was warm, I did not go, 
which I should have done, if I had thought of meeting 
the Man of Chemistry. He called this morning, and I 
shall go in search of him at Corso time. I believe, 
to-day being Monday, there is no great conversazione, 
and only the family one at the Marchese Cavalli's, 
where I go as a relation sometimes ; so that, unless he 
stays a day or two, we should hardly meet in public. 

The theatre is to open in May for the fair, if there 
is not a row in all Italy by that time, the Spanish 
business has set them all a-constitutioning, and what will 
be the end, no one knows it is also necessary thereunto 
to have a beginning. 

You see the blackguards have brought in Hobhouse 
for Westminster. Rochfoucault says that " there is 
"something in the misfortunes of our best friends not 
" unpleasing to us," 2 and it is to this that I attribute my 
not being so sorry for his election as I ought to be, 
seeing that it will eventually be a millstone round his 

1. See Letters, vol. ii. p. 226, note 2. 

2. Maximes et Reflexions morales ; ccxli. : " Dans 1'adversite de 
' ' nos meilleurs amis, nous trouvons souvent quelque chose qui ne 
"nous deplait pas." 


neck, for what can he do ? he can't take place ; he can't 
take power in any case ; if he succeeds in reforming, he 
will be stoned for his pains ; and if he fails, there he is 
stationary as Lecturer for Westminster. 

Would you go to the House by the true gate, 
Much faster than ever Whig Charley went ; 

Let Parliament send you to Newgate, 

And Newgate will send you to Parliament. 

But Hobhouse is a man of real talent however, and will 
make the best of his situation as he has done hitherto. 

Yours ever and truly, 


P.S. My benediction to Mrs. Hoppner. How is 
your little boy ? Allegra is growing, and has increased 
in good looks and obstinacy. 

793. To Richard Belgrave Hoppner. 

Ravenna, April 22'.' 1820. 

MY DEAR HOPPNER, With regard to Gnoatto, I 
cannot relent in favour of Madame Mocenigo, who 
protects a rascal and retains him in her service. Suppose 
the case of your Servant or mine, you having the same 
claim upon F[letche]r or I upon your Tim, would either 
of us retain them an instant unless they paid the debt ? 
As " there is no force in the decrees of Venice," * no 
Justice to be obtained from the tribunals, because even 
conviction does not compel payment, nor enforce punish- 
ment, you must excuse me when I repeat that not one 
farthing of the rent shall be paid > till either Gnoatto pays 
me his debt, or quits Madame Mocenigo's service. I 

i . Merchant of Venice^ act iv. sc. I . 

1 820.] NO REDRESS, NO RENT. 13 

will abide by the consequences ; but I could wish that no 
time was lost in apprizing her of the affair. You must 
not mind her relation Seranzo's statement ; he may be a 
very good man, but he is but a Venetian, which I take 
to be in the present age the ne plus ultra of human 
abasement in all moral qualities whatsoever. I dislike 
differing from you in opinion ; but I have no other 
course to take, and either Gnoatto pays me, or quits her 
Service, or I will resist to the uttermost the liquidation 
of her rent. I have nothing against her, nor for her ; 
I owe her neither ill will, nor kindness; but if she 
protects a Scoundrel, and there is no other redress, I will 
make some. 

It has been and always will be the case where there 
is no law. Individuals must then right themselves. 
They have set the example " and it shall go hard but I 
"will better the Instruction." 1 Two words from her 
would suffice to make the villain do his duty ; if they are 
not said, or if they have no effect, let him be dismissed ; 
if not, as I have said, so will I do. 

I wrote last week to Siri to desire Vincenzo to be sent 
to take charge of the beds and Swords to this place by 
Sea. I am in no hurry for the books, none whatever, 
and don't want them. 

Pray has not Mingaldo the Biography of living 
people ? 2 it is not here, nor in your list. I am not at 
all sure that he has it either, but it may be possible. 

Let Castelli go on to the last. I am determined to 
see Merryweather out in this business, just to discover 
what is or is not to be done in their tribunals, and if 
ever I cross him, as I have tried the law in vain, (since 

1. Merchant of Venice^ act iii. sc. I. 

2. Probably Colburn's Biographical Dictionary of the Living 
Authors of Great Britain and Ireland: comprising Literary Memoirs 
and Anecdotes of their Lives, etc. London, 1816, 8vo. 


it has but convicted him and then done nothing in 
consequence) I will try a shorter process with that 

About Allegra, I can only say to Claire l that I so 

I. After Allegra returned in October, 1818, from her stay at Este 
with her mother, she remained with Byron, under the care of a 
maid chosen by Mrs. Hoppner. She had suffered from the unwhole- 
some climate of Venice, and, as Mrs. Hoppner wrote to Mary 
Shelley, January, 1819, "estdevenue tranquille et serieuse comme 
"une petite vieille, ce qui nous peine beaucoup" (Dowden's Lifeof 
Shelley, vol. ii. p. 328). For several months no news of the child 
was heard by the Shelleys, except that Mrs. Vavassour's offer to 
adopt her had been declined by Byron (Letters, vol. iv. p. 325, 
note i). When Byron settled at Ravenna, in the- house of Count 
Guiccioli, Miss Clairmont appealed to him through the Hoppners 
to be allowed to see Allegra. This appeal Byron answers in the 
following paragraph. The substance of his reply was communicated, 
April 30, by Mrs. Hoppner to Claire, who refers in her journal to 
the answer as "concerning green fruit and God" (Dowden's Life 
of Shelley, vol. ii. p. 329, note). Professor Dowden prints, from a 
rough draft in Miss Clairmont's handwriting (ibid., pp. 329, 330), 
the mother's direct appeal to see her child, and her protest against 
the idea, here apparently for the first time expressed, of placing 
Allegra in a convent : 

"I beg from you the indulgence of a visit from my child, because 

" that I am weaker every day, and more miserable. I have already 

' proved in ten thousand ways that I have so loved her as to have 

' commanded, nay, to have destroyed, such of my feelings as would 

' have been injurious to her welfare. You answer my request by 

' menacing, if I do not continue to suffer in silence, that you will 

' inflict the greatest of all evils on my child you threaten to put 

' her in a convent, where she will be equally divided from us both. 

' . . . This calls to my remembrance the story in the Bible, where 

' Solomon judges between the two women ; the false parent was 

'willing the child should be divided, but the feelings of the real 

'one made her consent to any deprivation rather than her child 

' should be destroyed : so I am willing to undergo any affliction 

' rather than her whole life should be spoilt by a convent education." 

Byron's reply, though necessarily shown to Miss Clairmont, was 

written to Shelley, who in answer condemns its harsh tone, but 

admits the wisdom of Byron's resolution to separate the mother and 

the child (May 26, 1820). The letters from Shelley to Byron, and 

from Shelley to Jane Clairmont, printed in Appendix I., dated 

respectively September 17, 1820, and March, 1822 (?), illustrate the 

writer's sound judgment and good feeling. In the same Appendix 

will be found Jane Clairmont's appeal to Byron against placing 

Allegra in the convent at Bagnacavallo. 


totally disapprove of the mode of Children's treatment in 
their family, that I should look upon the Child as going 
into a hospital. Is it not so ? Have they reared one l ? 
Her health here has hitherto been excellent, and her 
temper not bad; she is sometimes vain and obstinate, 
but always clean and cheerful, and as, in a year or two, 
I shall either send her to England, or put her in a 
Convent for education, these defects will be remedied as 
far as they can in human nature. But the Child shall 
not quit me again to perish of Starvation, and green fruit, 
or be taught to believe that there is no Deity. Whenever 
there is convenience of vicinity and access, her Mother 
can always have her with her ; otherwise no. It was so 
stipulated from the beginning. 

The Girl is not so well off as with you, but far better 
than with them ; the fact is she is spoilt, being a great 
favourite with every body on account of the fairness of 
her Skin, which shines among their dusky children like 
the milky way, but there is no comparison of her situation 
now, and that under Elise, or with them. She has grown 
considerably, is very clean, and lively. She has plenty 
of air and exercise at home, and she goes out daily with 
M? Guiccioli in her carriage to the Corso. 

The paper is finished and so must the letter be. 

Yours ever, 

My best respects to Mrs. H. and the little boy and 

I. Shelley and his wife Mary had lost three children an infant, 
born February 22, 1815, died March 6, 1815; Clara Everina, born 
September 2, 1817, died at Venice, September 24, 1818 ; William, 
born January 24, 1816, died at Rome, June 7, 1819. 


794. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, April 23, 1820. 

DEAR MURRAY, The proofs don't contain the last 
stanzas of Canto second, but end abruptly with the losth 

I told you long ago that the new Cantos 1 were not 
good, and I also told you a reason : recollect, I do not 
oblige you to publish them ; you may suppress them, if 
you like, but I can alter nothing. I have erased the 
six stanzas about those two impostors, Southey and 
Wordsworth (which I suppose will give you great 
pleasure), but I can do no more. I can neither recast, 
nor replace ; but I give you leave to put it all into the 
fire, if you like, or not to publish, and I think that's 

I told you that I wrote on with no good will that I 
had been, not frightened, but hurt by the outcry, and, 
besides that, when I wrote last November, I was ill in 
body, and in very great distress of mind about some 
private things of my own ; but you would have it : so I 
sent it to you, and to make it lighter, cut it in two but 
I can't piece it together again. I can't cobble : I must 
" either make a spoon or spoil a horn," 2 and there's an 
end ; for there's no remeid : but I leave you free will to 
suppress the whole, if you like it. 

1. Don Juan, Cantos III., IV. 

2. So the elder Mr. Fairford, when his son, Alan, made his suc- 
cessful debut in the case of " Poor Peter Peebles versus Plainstanes," 
answered the congratulations of his friends, ' ' his voice faltering, as 

' he replied, ' Ay, ay, I kend Alan was the lad to make a spoon or 
' spoil a horn.' " Scott explains in a note the origin of the proverb : 
' Said of an adventurous gipsy, who resolves at all risks to convert 
'a sheep's horn into a spoon" (Redgauntlet, chap. i. of the 
'Narrative"). So also Baillie Nicol Jarvie (Rob Roy, chap, xxii.) 
ays, " Mr. Osbaldistone is a gude honest gentleman ; but I aye 
' said he was ane o' them wad make a spune or spoil a horn, as my 
'father the worthy deacon used to say." 


About the Morgante Maggiore, I won't have a line 
omitted: it may circulate, or it may not; but all the 
Criticism on earth shan't touch a line, unless it be 
because it is badly translated. Now you say, and I say, 
and others say, that the translation is a good one ; and 
so it shall go to press as it is. Pulci must answer for his 
own irreligion : I answer for the translation only. 

I am glad you have got the Dante ; and there should 
be by this time a translation of his Francesca of Rimini 
arrived to append to it. 

I sent you a quantity of prose observations x in answer 
to Wilson, but I shall not publish them at present : keep 
them by you as documents. 

Pray let Mr. Hobhouse look to the Italian next time 
in the proofs : this time, while I am scribbling to you, 
they are corrected by one who passes for the prettiest 
woman in Romagna, and even the Marches, as far as 
Ancona be the other who she may. 

I am glad you like my answer to your enquiries 
about Italian Society : it is fit you should like something, 
and be damned to you. 

My love to Scott. I shall think higher of knighthood 
ever after for his being dubbed. 2 By the way, he is the 
first poet titled for his talent in Britain : it has happened 
abroad before now; but on the continent titles are 
universal and worthless. Why don't you send me 
Ivanhoe and the Monastery ? 3 I have never written to 
Sir Walter, for I know he has a thousand things, and I 
a thousand nothings, to do ; but I hope to see him at 

1. See Letters, vol. iv. Appendix IX. 

2. In the Gazette for April I, 1820, appears the announcement : 
"The dignity of Baronet granted to Walter Scott, Esq. (the cele- 
brated poet), and his heirs male." 

3. Ivanhoe, The Monastery ; and The Abbot, were all published in 

VOL. V. C 


Abbotsford before very long, and I will sweat his Claret 
for him, though Italian abstemiousness has made my 
brain but a shilpit 1 concern for a Scotch sitting inter 
pocula. I love Scott and Moore, and all the better 
brethren; but I hate and abhor that puddle of water- 
worms whom you have taken into your troop in the 
history line I see. I am obliged to end abruptly. 


P.S. You say that one Jialf* is very good : you are 
wrong; for, if it were, it would be the finest poem in 
existence. Where is the poetry of which one half is 
good ? is it the ^Eneid? is it Milton's? is it Dry den's ? is 
it any one's except Pope's and Goldsmith's, of which all 
is good ? and yet these two last are the poets your pond 
poets would explode. But if one half 'of the two new 
Cantos be good in your opinion, what the devil would 
you have more ? No no : no poetry is generally good 
only by fits and starts and you are lucky to get a 
sparkle here and there. You might as well want a 
Midnight all stars as rhyme all perfect. 

We are on the verge of a row here. Last night they 
have overwritten all the city walls with " Up with the 
" Republic ! " and " death to the Pope ! " etc., etc. This 
would be nothing in London, where the walls are 
privileged, and where, when somebody went to Chancellor 
Thurlow to tell him, as an alarming sign, that he had 
seen " Death to the king " on the park wall, old Thurlow 
asked him if he had ever seen " * " chalked on the same 
place, to which the alarmist responding in the affirmative, 

1. Balmawhapple, carousing at Luckie Macleary's, and fortified 
by the Bear and the Hen, ' ' pronounced the claret shilpit, and 
"demanded brandy with great vociferation " ( IVavwley, chap. xi.). 

2. Of Don Juan. 


Thurlow resumed " and so have I for these last 30 years, 
" and yet it never * * * *." But here it is a different 
thing : they are not used to such fierce political inscrip- 
tions, and the police is all on the alert, and the Cardinal 
glares pale through all his purple. 

April 24, 1820, 8 o'clock, P.M. 

The police have been, all Noon and after, searching 
for the Inscribers, but have caught none as yet. They 
must have been all night about it, for the " Live republics 
" death to popes and priests," are innumerable, and 
plastered over all the palaces : ours has plenty. There 
is " down with the Nobility," too they are down enough 
already, for that matter. A very heavy rain and wind 
having come on, I did not get on horseback to go out 
and " skirr the country ; " but I shall mount tomorrow, 
and take a canter among the peasantry, who are a 
savage, resolute race, always riding with guns in their 
hands. I wonder they don't suspect the Serenaders, for 
they play on the guitar all night, here as in Spain, to their 

Talking of politics, as Caleb Quotem l says, pray look 
at the Conclusion of my Ode on Waterloo? written in the 
year 1815, and, comparing it with the Duke de Bern's 

1. In The Review, or the Wags of Windsor, by G. Colman the 
Younger. The phrase is, however, not used by his " Caleb 
"Quotem," a character which he appropriated from Henry Lee 
(1765-1836), whose "Caleb Quotem" was played at the Hay- 
market, July 6, 1798, under the title of Throw Physic to the Dogs. 

2. " Even in this low world of care 

Freedom ne'er shall want an heir ; 
Millions breathe but to inherit 
Her for ever bounding spirit. 
When once more her hosts assemble, 
Tyrants shall believe and tremble ; 
Smile they at this idle threat ? 
Crimson tears will follow yet." 


catastrophe in 1820 : l tell me if I have not as good a 
right to the character of " Vates" in both senses of the 
word, as Fitzgerald and Coleridge ? 2 

" Crimson tears will follow yet " 

and have not they ? 

I can't pretend to foresee what will happen among 
you Englishers at this distance, but I vaticinate a row in 
Italy ; in whilk case, I don't know that I won't have a 
finger in it. I dislike the Austrians, and think the 
Italians infamously oppressed j and if they begin, why, 
I will recommend "the erection of a Sconce upon 
" Drumsnab," 3 like Dugald Dalgetty. 

795. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, May 8, 1820. 

DEAR MURRAY, From your not having written again, 
an intention which your letter of y" 7th Ult indicated, I 
have to presume that " Tfie Prophecy of Dante " has not 
been found more worthy than its immediate precursors 
in the eyes of your illustrious Synod. In that case, you 
will be in some perplexity; to end which, I repeat to 
you, that you are not to consider yourself as bound or 
pledged to publish any thing because it is mine, but 
always to act according to your own views, or opinions, 
or those of your friends ; and to be sure that you will 
in no degree offend me by " declining the article," to use 

1. Pierre-Louis Louvel (1785-1820), by trade a saddler, murdered 
the Due de Berri, grandson of Louis XVIII., and second son of the 
Comte d'Artois, afterwards Charles X., as he returned to the Opera, 
February 13, 1820. The murder and Louvel's louche regard horri- 
fied Victor Hugo, who wrote an ode on "La Mort du Due de 
" Berri " (Odes et Ballades, Livre I. Ode vii.). 

2. For W. T. Fitzgerald, see Letters, vol. iii. p. IO, note I. For 
S. T. Coleridge, see ibid., vol. iii. p. 190, no te 3. 

3. The Legend of Montrose, chap. x. 


a technical phrase. The Prose observations on J? 
Wilson's attack, 1 I do not intend for publication at this 
time ; and I sent a copy of verses to Mr. Kinnaird (they 
were written last year, on crossing the Po 2 ) which must 
not be published either. I mention this, because it is 
probable he may give you a copy. Pray recollect this, 
as they are mere verses of Society, and written upon 
private feelings and passions. And, moreover, I cannot 
consent to any mutilations or omissions of Puld : the 
original has been ever free from such in Italy, the Capital 
of Christianity, and the translation may be so in England ; 
though you will think it strange that they should have 
allowed such freedom for so many centuries to the 
Morgante, while the other day they confiscated the whole 
translation of the 4"? Canto of Childe H\aroi\d, and have 
persecuted Leoni, 3 the translator so he writes me, and 
so I could have told him, had he consulted me before 
his publication. This shows how much more politics 
interest men in these parts than religion. Half a dozen 
invectives against tyranny confiscate C? H'- in a month ; 
and eight and twenty cantos of quizzing Monks and 
Knights, and Church Government, are let loose for 
centuries. I copy Leoni's account : 

"Non ignorera forse che la mia versione del 4 
" Canto del Childe Harold fu confiscata in ogni parte : 
"ed io stesso ho dovuto soffrir vessazioni altrettanto 
" ridicole quanto illiberali, ad arte che alcuni versi fossero 
" esclusi dalla censura. Ma siccome il divieto non fa 
" d'ordinario che accrescere la curiosita cosi quel carme 

1. See Letters, vol. iv. Appendix IX. 

2. " Stanzas to the Po," written, it is said, when Byron was on 
his way to meet Countess Guiccioli at Ravenna. 

3. L' Italia. Canto IV. del Pellegrinaggio di Childe Harold . . . 
tradotto da Michele Leoni, Italia (London?), 1819, 8?. Leoni also 
translated the Lament of Tasso (Lamento del Tasso . . . Recato 
in Italiano da M. Leoni, Pisa, 1818). 


" sull' Italia e ricercato piU che mai, e penso di farlo 
" ristampare in Inghilterra senza nulla escludere. Scia- 
" gurata condizione di questa mia patria ! se patria si 
" pub chiamare una terra cos! awilita dalla fortuna, dagli 
" uomini, da se medesima." 

Rose will translate this to you. Has he had his 
letter ? I enclosed it to you months ago. 

This intended piece of publication I shall dissuade 
him from, or he may chance to see the inside of St. 
Angelo's. The last Sentence of his letter is the common 
and pathetic sentiment of all his Countrymen, who 
execrate Castlereagh as the cause, by the conduct of the 
English at Genoa. 1 Surely that man will not die in his 
bed : there is no spot of the earth where his name is not 
a hissing, and a curse. Imagine what must be the man's 
talent for Odium, who has contrived to spread his 
infamy like a pestilence from Ireland to Italy, and to 
make his name an execration in all languages. 

Talking of Ireland, Sir Humphry Davy 2 was here last 

1. The Republic of Genoa, conquered by the French in 1797, 
lived a short life as the Ligurian Republic until, in 1805, it was 
absorbed by the French Empire. In 1814 Lord William Bentinck 
compelled the French troops to evacuate the city, proclaimed the 
restoration of the Genoese constitution as it existed before I797 
and pledged the honour of the Allied Powers that the independence 
of Genoa should be respected. But at the Congress of Vienna 
republics were unfashionable, and nationalities were sacrificed to 
political equilibrium. Genoa was annexed to Piedmont, its ancient 
rival, and the British troops were withdrawn, February, 1815. 

In making the decision of the Congress known to Colonel 
Dalrymple, the British commander, Castlereagh regretted his in- 
ability "to preserve to Genoa a separate existence," insisted on the 
"generous disposition of the King of Sardinia," and hoped that the 
Genoese of every class would accept the new rule as "a benefit." 
But it appears {Castlereagh Correspondence, 3rd series, vol. ii. pp. 18, 
221) that Bentinck made his promise with Castlereagh's knowledge, 
though Castlereagh denied ( Wellington Supplementary Despatches, 
vol. ix. p. 64) that Bentinck had any authority from the British 
Government. The Genoese believed that they had been betrayed, 
and saw in Castlereagh the traitor. 

2. " Davy," writes Moore, in his Diary for May 19, 1820 



fortnight, and I was in his company in the house of a very 
pretty Italian Lady of rank, who, by way of displaying her 
learning in presence of the great Chemist then describing 
his fourteenth ascension of Mount Vesuvius, asked " if 
"there was not a similar Volcano in Ireland 1" My 
only notion of an Irish Volcano consisted of the Lake of 
Killarney, which I naturally conceived her to mean ; but, 
on second thoughts, I divined that she alluded to Ice- 
land and to Hecla and so it proved, though she 
sustained her volcanic topography for some time with all 
the amiable pertinacity of " the Feminie." She soon 
after turned to me and asked me various questions about 
Sir Humphry's philosophy, and I explained as well as an 
Oracle his skill in gases, safety lamps, and in ungluing 
the Pompeian MSS. 1 "But what do you call him?" 

(Memoirs^ etc., vol. iii. p. 118), "went to Ravenna to see Lord 
' Byron, who is now living domesticated with the Guiccioli and her 
' husband after all. He was rather anxious to get off with Davy to 
' Bologna, professedly for the purpose of seeing Lady Davy, but I 
' have no doubt with a wish to give his Contessa the slip." 

i. In the Philosophical Transactions (1821, pp. 191, 192) will be 
bund a paper read by Sir Humphry Davy (March 15, 1821), on 
"Some Observations and Experiments on the Papyri found in the 

Ruins of Herculaneum." From this paper the following extract 
s taken : 

" During the two months that I was actively employed in experi- 
' ments on the papyri at Naples, I had succeeded, with the assist - 
' ance of six of the persons attached to the Museum, and whom I had 
'engaged for the purpose, in partially unrolling 23 MSS., from 
' which fragments of writing were obtained, and in examining 
' about 1 20 others, which afforded no hopes of success ; and I should 
' gladly have gone on with the undertaking, from the mere pros- 
' pect of a possibility of discovering some better results, had not the 
' labour, in itself difficult and unpleasant, been made more so, by 
' the conduct of the persons at the head of this department in the 
' Museum. At first every disposition was shown to promote my 
' researches ; for the papyri remaining unrolled were considered by 
' them as incapable of affording anything legible by the former 
'methods, or, to use their own word, disperati ; and the efficacy 
' and use of the new processes were fully allowed by the Svolgatori, 
' or unrollers of the Museum ; and I was for some time permitted 
' to choose and operate upon the specimens at my own pleasure. 


said she. " A great Chemist," quoth I. " What can he 
" do ? " repeated the lady. " Almost any thing," said I. 
" Oh, then, mio Caro, do pray beg him to give me some- 
" thing to dye my eyebrows black. I have tried a 
"thousand things, and the colours all come off; and 
" besides, they don't grow : can't he invent something to 
" make them grow ? " All this with the greatest earnest- 
ness ; and what you will be surprized at, she is neither 
ignorant nor a fool, but really well educated and clever. 
But they speak like children, when first out of their 
convents; and, after all, this is better than an English 

I did not tell Sir Humphry of this last piece of 
philosophy, not knowing how he might take it. He is 
gone on towards England. Sotheby has sent him a 
poem on his undoing the MSS., which Sir H. says is a 
bad one. Who the devil doubts it ? Davy was much 
taken with Ravenna, and the primitive Italianism of the 
people, who are unused to foreigners : but he only staid 
a day. 

Send me Scott's novels and some news. 

P.S. I have begun and advanced into the second 
Act of a tragedy on the subject of the Doge's Conspiracy 

' When, however, the Reverend Peter Elmsley, whose zeal for the 
' promotion of ancient literature brought him to Naples for the 
' purpose of assisting in the undertaking, began to examine the frag- 
1 ments unrolled, a jealousy, with regard to his assistance, was 
' immediately manifested ; and obstacles, which the kind interfer- 
'ence of Sir William A'Court was not always capable of removing, 
' were soon opposed to the progress of our enquiries ; and these 
' obstacles were so multiplied, and made so vexatious towards the 
' end of February, that we conceived it would be both a waste of 
'the public money, and a compromise of our own characters, to 
' proceed." For the improvements in Padre Piaggi's method of 

unrolling the MSS. (described in the Annual Register for 1820, p. 

504), which were suggested by Sir H. Davy, see Philosophical 

Transactions, 1821, p. 199. 


(i.e. the story of Marino Faliero) ; but my present feeling 
is so little encouraging on such matters, that I begin to 
think I have mined my talent out, and proceed in no 
great phantasy of finding a new vein. 

P.S. I sometimes think (if the Italians don't rise) 
of coming over to England in the Autumn after the 
coronation, (at which I would not appear, on account of 
my family Schism with " the feminie ") but as yet I can 
decide nothing. The place must be a great deal changed 
since I left it, now more than four years ago. 

May gth, 1820. Address directly to Ravenna. 

796. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, May 20, 1820. 

Murray, my dear, make my respects to Thomas 
Campbell, and tell him from me, with faith and friend- 
ship, three things that he must right in his Poets : 
Firstly, he says Anstey's Bath Guide Characters are 
taken from Smollett. 'Tis impossible : the Gtiide was 
published in 1766, and Humphrey Clinker in 1771 
dunque, 'tis Smollett who has taken from Anstey. 1 
Secondly, he does not know to whom Cowper alludes, 
when he says that there was one who " built a church to 
" God, and then blasphemed his name : " it was " Deo 
" erexit Voltaire " to whom that maniacal Calvinist and 
coddled poet alludes. 2 Thirdly, he misquotes and spoils 

1. Campbell's Specimens of the British Poets, with biographical 
and critical notices, etc., was published in 1819 (7 vols., London). 
The corrections pointed out by Byron were not made in subsequent 
editions of the biographical portion of the work. In the Notice 
of Christopher Anstey (Notices of the British Poets, ed. 1819, 
p. 439), Campbell says of The New Bath Guide, "The droll and 
' ' familiar manner of the poem is original, but its leading characters 
"are evidently borrowed from Smollett." 

2. In his Notice of Cowper (Notices, etc., ed. 1819, p. 358), 
Campbell lays stress on the impersonal character of his satires. " I 


a passage from Shakespeare, "to gild refined gold, to 
" paint the lily," etc. ; for lily he puts rose, and bedevils 
in more words than one the whole quotation. 1 

Now, Tom is a fine fellow ; but he should be correct ; 
for the i- 1 is an injustice (to Anstey), the 2"? an ignorance, 
and the third a blunder. Tell him all this, and let him 
take it in good part ; for I might have rammed it into a 
review and vexed him instead of which, I act like a 


797. To Richard Belgrave Hoppner. 

Ravenna, May 20".' 1820. 

MY DEAR HOPPNER, Let Merryweather be kept in 
for one week, and then let him out for a Scoundrel. Tell 
him that such is the lesson for the ungrateful, and let this 
be a warning; a little common feeling, and common 
honesty would have saved him from useless expence and 
utter ruin. 

"know not," he adds in a note, "to whom he alludes in these 
" lines : 

' ' ' Nor he who, for the bane of thousands born, 

Built God a church, and laugh'd His word to scorn.' " 

The lines are from Cowper's Retirement, and the allusion is, as 
Byron says, to Voltaire. 

i. Campbell, in his Notice of Burns (Notices, etc., ed. 1819, p. 
245), says, "Every reader must recal abundance of thoughts in 
"his love-songs, to which any attempt to superadd a tone of 
" gallantry would not be 

" 'To gild refined gold, to paint the rose, 
Or add fresh perfume to the violet ; ' 

" but to debase the metal, and to take the odour and colour from the 
"flower." The quotation from King John (act iv. sc. 2) should 
be, as Byron points out 

"To gild refined gold, to paint the lily, 
To throw a perfume on the violet." 

1820.] A MORAL LESSON. 27 

Never would I pursue a man to Jail for a mere debt t 
and never will I forgive one for ingratitude such as this 
Villain's. But let him go and be damned (once in though 
first) ; but I could much wish you to see him and 
inoculate him with a moral sense by shewing him the 
result of his rascality. 

As to Mother Mocenigo, we'll battle with her, and her 
ragamuffin. Castelli must dungeon Merryweather, if it 
be but for a day, I don't want to hurt, only to teach 

I write to you in such haste and such heat ; it seems 
to be under the dog (or bitch) Star that I can no more, 
but sottoscribble myself, 

Yours ever, 


P.S. My best respects to the Consolessa and 
Compts. to Mr. Dorville. 

Hobhouse is angry with me for a ballad * and epigram 
I made upon him ; only think how odd ! 

798. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, May 2O th , 1820. 

DEAR MURRAY, First and foremost, you must 
forward my letter to Moore dated 2d January, which I 
said you might open, but desired you to forward. Now, 
you should really not forget these little things, because 
they do mischief among friends. You are an excellent 
man, a great man, and live among great men, but do 
pray recollect your absent friends and authors. 

I return you the packets. The prose (the Edin. Mag. 
answer) looks better than I thought it would, and yon 

i. See Letters, vol. iv. p. 423, note I, and Appendix XI. 


may publish it: there will be a row, but I'll fight it out 
one way or another. You are wrong : I never had those 
" two ladies," l upon my honour ! Never believe but half 
of such stories. Southey was a damned scoundrel to 
spread such a lie of a woman, whose mother he did his 
best to get and could not. 

So you and Hobhouse have squabbled about my 
ballad : you should not have circulated it ; but I 
am glad you are by the ears, you both deserve it 
he for having been in Newgate, and you for not being 

Excuse haste : if you knew what I have on hand, you 

In the first place, your packets ; then a letter from 
Kinnaird, on the most urgent business : another from 
Moore, about a communication to Lady B[yron] of 
importance ; a fourth from the mother of Allegra ; and, 
fifthly, at Ravenna, the Contessa G. is on the eve of 
being divorced on account of our having been taken 
together quasi in the fact, and, what is worse, that she 
did not deny it : but the Italian public are on our side, 
particularly the women, and the men also, because they 
say that he had no business to take the business up now 
after a year of toleration. The law is against him, 
because he slept with his wife after her admission. All 
her relations (who are numerous, high in rank, and 
powerful) are furious against him for his conduct, and his 
not wishing to be cuckolded at ///mscore, when every one 
else is at ONE. I am warned to be on my guard, as he 
is very capable of employing Sicarii this is Latin as 
well as Italian, so you can understand it ; but I have 
arms, and don't mind them, thinking that I can pepper 
his ragamuffins if they don't come unawares, and that, if 
i. See Letters, vol. iv. pp. 298, 482. 


they do, one may as well end that way as another ; and 
it would besides serve yoti as an advertisement : 

" Man may escape from rope or Gun, etc. 
But he who takes Woman, Woman, Woman," etc. 1 



P.S. I have looked over the press, but Heaven 
knows how : think what I have on hand and the post 
going out tomorrow. Do you remember the epitaph on 
Voltaire ? 2 

" Cy git 1'enfant gate," etc. 

" Here lies the spoilt child 
Of the World which he spoil'd." 

The original is in Grimm and Diderot, etc., etc., etc. 
799. To Thomas Moore. 

Ravenna, May 24, 1820. 

I wrote to you a few days ago. There is also a letter 
of January last for you at Murray's, which will explain to 
you why I am here. Murray ought to have forwarded 

1. The Beggar's Opera, act ii. sc. 2 

Air. Macheath. 

" Courtiers, courtiers, think it no harm." 
Man may escape from rope and gun, 

Nay, some have outliv'd the doctor 's pill ; 
Who takes a woman, must be undone, 

That basilisk is sure to kill. 
The fly, that sips treacle, is lost in the sweets, 

So he, that tastes woman, woman, woman, 
He, that tastes woman, ruin meets. 

2. In the Correspondance Littcraire, Partie II'. ne torn. iv". ie p. 355, 
ed. 1812, the epitaph is thus given 

" Epitaphe de Voltaire, faite par une dame de Lausanne 
' Ci git 1'enfant gate du monde qu'il gata.' " 


it long ago. I enclose you an epistle from a country- 
woman of yours at Paris, which has moved my entrails. 1 
You will have the goodness, perhaps, to enquire into the 
truth of her story, and I will help her as far as I can, 
though not in the useless way she proposes. Her letter 
is evidently unstudied, and so natural, that the ortho- 
graphy is also in a state of nature. 

Here is a poor creature, ill and solitary, who thinks, 
as a last resource, of translating you or me into French ! 
Was there ever such a notion? It seems to me the 
consummation of despair. Pray enquire, and let me 
know, and, if you could draw a bill on me here for a few 
hundred francs, at your banker's, I will duly honour it, 
that is, if she is not an impostor. If not, let me know, 
that I may get something remitted by my banker Longhi, 
of Bologna, for I have no correspondence myself at 
Paris : but tell her she must not translate ; if she does, 
it will be the height of ingratitude. 

I had a letter (not of the same kind, but in French 
and flattery) from a Madame Sophie Gail, of Paris, whom 
I take to be the spouse of a Gallo-Greek of that name. 2 

1. Moore, in his Diary for June, 1820 (Memoirs, etc., vol. Hi. p. 
123), writes, "Received a letter from Lord Byron about the 7'.' 1 or 

' 8"?, commissioning me to find out an Irishwoman of the name of 
' Mahony, who had written to him to request he would let her 
'have the proof sheets of one of his new works, that she might 
' translate it into French, and so make a little money by being first 
' in the field with a translation, she being an orphan, etc. ... I 
' called upon the lady, and found her so respectably dressed and 
' lodged, that I felt delicate, at first, about mentioning the gift 
' Lord Byron intended for her ; and when, on my second visit, 1 
' presented the fifteen Napoleons, the poor girl refused them, saying 
' it was not in that way she wished to be served ; having contrived 
' hitherto, though an orphan, to support herself without pecuniary 
' assistance from any one." 

2. Moore describes Jean Baptiste Gail (1755-1829), Professor of 
Greek Literature in the College de France at Paris, "whose edition 

' of Anacreon I remember my mother buying for me when I was 
'about nineteen, and busy with my own translations," as "a 

1 820.] THE BEST ADVICE. 31 

Who is she ? and what is she ? and how came she to take 
an interest in my poeshie or its author? If you know 
her, tell her, with my compliments, that, as I only read 
French, I have not answered her letter ; but would have 
done so in Italian, if I had not thought it would look 
like an affectation. I have just been scolding my monkey 
for tearing the seal of her letter, and spoiling a mock 
book, in which I put rose leaves. I had a civet-cat the 
other day, too; but it ran away, after scratching my 
monkey's cheek, and I am in search of it still. It was 
the fiercest beast I ever saw, and like * * in the face and 

I have a world of things to say ; but, as they are not 
come to a denouement^ I don't care to begin their history 
till it is wound up. After you went, I had a fever, but 
got well again without bark. Sir Humphry Davy was 
here the other day, and liked Ravenna very much. He 
will tell you any thing you may wish to know about the 
place and your humble servitor. 

Your apprehensions (arising from Scott's) were un- 
founded. There are no damages in this country, but 
there will probably be a separation between them, as her 
family, which is a principal one, by its connections, are 
very much against him, for the whole of his conduct ; 
and he is old and obstinate, and she is young and a 
woman, determined to sacrifice every thing to her affec- 
tions. I have given her the best advice, viz. to stay with 
him, pointing out the state of a separated woman, (for 

"convivial and rather weak old man" (Memoirs, etc., January 24, 
1820, vol. iii. p. 100). He was, however, a very distinguished 
scholar, who had done good service to the study of Greek in France. 
His wife, nee Sophie Garre (1776-1819), was celebrated for her 
novels and her musical talents. Her opera, les Deux Jaloux, had 
gained a great success in 1813. She was dead at the time of 
Byron's letter. Byron's correspondent was really Madame Sophie 
Gay, mother of Delphine Gay afterwards Madame de Girardin. 


the priests won't let lovers live openly together, unless 
the husband sanctions it,) and making the most exquisite 
moral reflections, but to no purpose. She says, " I will 
" stay with him, if he will let you remain with me. It is 
" hard that I should be the only woman in Romagna who 
" is not to have her Amico ; but, if not, I will not live with 
" him; and as for the consequences, love, etc., etc., etc." 
you know how females reason on such occasions. 

He says he has let it go on till he can do so no longer. 
But he wants her to stay, and dismiss me ; for he doesn't 
like to pay back her dowry and to make an alimony. 
Her relations are rather for the separation, as they detest 
him, indeed, so does every body. The populace and 
the women are, as usual, all for those who are in the 
wrong, viz. the lady and her lover. I should have 
retreated, but honour, and an erysipelas which has 
attacked her, prevent me, to say nothing of love, for I 
love her most entirely, though not enough to persuade 
her to sacrifice every thing to a frenzy. " I see how it 
" will end ; she will be the sixteenth Mrs. Shuffleton." 1 

My paper is finished, and so must this letter. 

Yours ever, 


P.S. I regret that you have not completed the Italian 
Fudges. 2 Pray, how come you to be still in Paris? 
Murray has four or five things of mine in hand the new 
Don Juan, which his back-shop synod don't admire ; a 

1. In John Bull, or the Englishman 's Fireside, by George 
Colman the Younger (act ii. sc. 2), the Honourable Tom Shuffleton 
says, " Fine blue eyes, faith, and very like my Fanny's. Yes, I 
"see how it will end ; she'll be the fifteenth Mrs. Shuffleton." 

2. Moore at one time proposed to continue his Fudge Family in 
Paris (1818), by a series of letters in verse from the Fudge family in 
Italy. He did not carry out the plan. The Fudges in England : 
being a sequel to the " Fudge Family in Paris," appeared in 1823. 

1 820.] GOETHE ON MANFRED. 33 

translation of the first canto of Pulci's Morgante Maggiore, 
excellent; a short ditto from Dante, not so much 
approved : the Prophecy of Dante > very grand and worthy, 
etc., etc., etc. : a furious prose answer to Blackwood's 
" Observations on Don Juan" with a savage Defence of 
Pope likely to make a row. The opinions above I 
quote from Murray and his Utican senate; you will 
form your own, when you see the things. 

You will have no great chance of seeing me, for I 
begin to think I must finish in Italy. But, if you come 
my way, you shall have a tureen of macaroni. Pray tell 
me about yourself, and your intents. 

My trustees are going to lend Earl Blessington sixty 
thousand pounds (at six per cent.) on a Dublin mortgage. 
Only think of my becoming an Irish absentee ! 

800. To Richard Belgrave Hoppner. 

Ravenna, May 25, 1820. 

A German named Ruppsecht has sent me, heaven 
knows why, several Deutsche Gazettes, of all which I 
understand neither word nor letter. I have sent you the 
enclosed to beg you to translate to me some remarks, 
which appear to be Goethe's upon Manfred?- and if I 
may judge by two notes of admiration (generally put 
after something ridiculous by us) and the word " hypocon- 
" drisch" are any thing but favourable. I shall regret 
this, for I should have been proud of Goethe's good 
word ; but I shan't alter my opinion of him, even though 
he should be savage. 

Will you excuse this trouble, and do me this favour ? 

I. For Goethe's criticism on Manfred, Hoppner's translation, and 
a general note on Goethe and Byron, see Appendix II. 

VOL. V. D 


Never mind soften nothing I am literary proof 
having had good and evil said in most modern languages. 

Believe me, etc. 

80 1. To Thomas Moore. 

Ravenna, June 1, 1820. 

I have received a Parisian letter from W[edderburn] 
W[ebster], which I prefer answering through you, if that 
worthy be still at Paris, and, as he says, an occasional 
visitor of yours. In November last he wrote to me a 
well-meaning letter, stating, for some reasons of his own, 
his belief that a re-union might be effected between Lady 
B. and myself. To this I answered as usual; and he 
sent me a second letter, repeating his notions, which 
letter I have never answered, having had a thousand 
other things to think of. He now writes as if he believed 
that he had offended me by touching on the topic ; and 
I wish you to assure him that I am not at all so, but, 
on the contrary, obliged by his good nature. At the 
same time acquaint him the thing is impossible. You 
know this, as well as I, and there let it end. 

I believe that I showed you his epistle in autumn 
last. He asks me if I have heard of my " laureat " at 
Paris, 1 somebody who has written " a most sanguinary 

I. Byron refers to Lamartine's "L'Homme k Lord Byron," one 
of the poems in his Premieres Meditations Pottiques (1820). Lamar- 
tine was an ardent admirer of Byron. In the subsequent "Com- 
" mentaire " on the poem he thus describes its origin 

"J'entendis parler pour la premiere fois de lui [Byron] par un de 
'mes anciens amis qui revenait d'Angleterre en 1819. Le seul 
' recit de quelques-uns de ses poemes m'ebranla 1'imagination. . . . 
' Je lus, dans un recueil periodique de Geneve, quelques fragments 
'traduits du Corsaire, de Lara, de Manfred. Je devins ivre de 
1 cette poesie. J'avais enfin trouve la fibre sensible d'un poete a 
' 1'unisson des mes voix interieures. . . . Je n'adressai point ces 
' vers 4 Lord Byron. . . . J'ai lu depuis, dans ses Memoires, qu'il 
1 avail entendu parler de cette meditation d'un jeune Fra^ais, mais 
' qu'il ne 1'avait pas lue. II ne savait pas notre langue." 


" Epitre" against me; but whether in French, or Dutch, 
or on what score, I know not, and he don't say, except 
that (for my satisfaction) he says it is the best thing in 
the fellow's volume. If there is anything of the kind 
that I ought to know, you will doubtless tell me. I 
suppose it to be something of the usual sort ; he says, 
he don't remember the author's name. 

I wrote to you some ten days ago, and expect an 
answer at your leisure. 

The separation business still continues, and all the 
world are implicated, including priests and cardinals. 
The public opinion is furious against him, because he 
ought to have cut the matter short at first, and not 
waited twelve months to begin. He has been trying at 
evidence, but can get none sufficient; for what would 
make fifty divorces in England won't do here there 
must be the most decided proofs. * * * 

It is the first cause of the kind attempted in Ravenna 
for these two hundred years; for, though they often 
separate, they assign a different motive. You know that 
the continental incontinent are more delicate than the 
English, and don't like proclaiming their coronation in a 
court, even when nobody doubts it. 

All her relations are furious against him. The father 
has challenged him a superfluous valour, for he don't 
fight, though suspected of two assassinations one of the 
famous Monzoni of Forli. Warning was given me not 
to take such long rides in the Pine Forest without being 
on my guard ; so I take my stiletto and a pair of pistols 
in my pocket during my daily rides. 

I won't stir from this place till the matter is settled 
one way or the other. She is as femininely firm as 
possible ; and the opinion is so much against him, that 
the advocates decline to undertake his cause, because they 


say that he is either a fool or a rogue fool, if he did not 
discover the liaison till now ; and rogue, if he did know 
it, and waited for some bad end to divulge it. In short, 
there has been nothing like it since the days of Guido di 
Polenta's family, 1 in these parts. 

If the man has me taken off, like Polonius " say, he 
" made a good end," 2 for a melodrame. The principal 
security is, that he has not the courage to spend twenty 
scudi the average price of a clean-handed bravo 
otherwise there is no want of opportunity, for I ride 
about the woods every evening, with one servant, and 
sometimes an acquaintance, who latterly looks a little 
queer in solitary bits of bushes. 

Good bye. Write to yours ever, etc. 

802. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, June 7, 1820. 

DEAR MURRAY, Enclosed is something which will 
interest you, (to wit), the opinion of the Greatest man of 
Germany perhaps of Europe upon one of the great 
men of your advertisements, (all "famous hands," as 
Jacob Tonson 3 used to say of his ragamuffins,) in 
short, a critique of Goethe's upon Manfred. There is 
the original, Mr. Hoppner's translation, and an Italian 
one; keep them all in your archives, for the opinions 
of such a man as Goethe, whether favourable or not, 
are always interesting, and this is moreover favourable. 

1. Guido Vecchio da Polenta (d. 1310), whose "eagle" brooded 
over Ravenna in the days of Dante, was the father of Francesca da 

2. Hamlet, act iv. sc. 5. 

3. "Perhaps I should myself be much better pleased, if I were 
" told you called me your little friend, than if you complimented 
' ' me with the title of a great genius or an eminent hand, as Jacob 
"does all his authors." Pope to Steele, November 29, 1712 
(Courthope's Pope, vol. vi. p. 396). 

1 8 20.] BARRY CORNWALL. 37 

His Faiist I never read, for I don't know German ; but 
Matthew Monk Lewis, in 1816, at Coligny, translated 
most of it to me viva voce, and I was naturally much 
struck with it; but it was the Staubach and the Jungfrau, 
and something else, much more than Faustus, that made 
me write Manfred. The first Scene, however, and that 
of Faustus are very similar. Acknowledge this letter. 

Yours ever, 


P.S. I have received Ivanhoe ; good. Pray send 
me some tooth powder and tincture of Myrrh, by Waite^ 
etc. Ricdardetto should have been translated literally, 
or not at alL As to puffing Whistlecraft, it ivorit do : * 
I'll tell you why some day or other. Cornwall's a poet, 2 

1. Probably this alludes to an article on Whistlecraft, in the 
Quarterly Review, vol. xxi. ; in which the reviewer (p. 503) says, 
" About a hundred years ago, a poem, bearing a certain degree of 
" affinity to the ' Specimen,' was produced by Monsignor Forteguerri, 
' ' a writer who in genius and means was far inferior to the English 
"Poet," etc., etc. Niccolo Forteguerri (1674-1735), a native of 
Pistoja, and a cardinal, wrote Ricdardetto (pub. 1738), a broad 
burlesque of Ariosto. The poem, already twice translated into 
French verse (Dumouriez, 1766; Due de Nivernais, 1796), may 
have helped to suggest to Frere his Prospectus and Specimen of an 
Intended National Work, by William and Robert Whistlecraft. 

2. Bryan Waller Procter (1787-1874), father of Adelaide Procter 
(1825-1864), entered Harrow School in February, 1801. He became 
a solicitor, then a barrister, and finally (1832-61) a metropolitan 
commissioner in lunacy. But though the law was his profession, 
literature, especially before his marriage (1824) with Miss Skepper, 
was his passion. Under the disguise of "Barry Cornwall," a partial 
anagram of his real name, he published his Dramatic Scenes in 1819 ; 
his Mercian Colonna appeared in the next year, his Sicilian Story 
in 1821. In the two last-named works the influence of Leigh Hunt 
was conspicuous, as Byron remarks (p. 217); but Moore gratified 
his feeling against Hunt by omitting the name, now for the first time 
restored, at the expense of Byron's critical insight. Procter's 
Mirandola was produced at Covent Garden, January 9, 1821, with 
Macready as the "Duke of Mirandola;" Charles Kemble as his 
son, "Guido;" Miss Foote as " Isidora ; " and Mrs. Faucit as 
"Isabella." Genest (English Stage, vol. ix. pp. 102, 103) calls it 


but spoilt by the detestable Schools of the day. Mrs. 
Hemans l is a poet also, but too stiltified and apostrophic, 

" a pretty good play," and says that it was acted sixteen times. 
Some of Procter's best poetical work is contained in his English 
Songs and other Smaller Poems (1832). As an intimate friend of 
"Elia," he wrote a charming biography of Charles Lamb (Charles 
Lamb : a Memoir, 1866-68). He made himself responsible for part 
of the expenses of the publication of Shelley's posthumous poetry. 
The following is a letter from Procter to Byron : 

" March 19, 1821, 25, Store Street, Bedford Square. 

" MY LORD, It gave me much pleasure to learn that you had 
" some recollection of a Harrow boy, as well as that you felt some 
"interest in my poetical progress. It has, in truth, been fortunate. 
" Pray endeavour to believe that I am obliged by your remembering 
" me. I sent you in January, thro' Mr. Murray, who promised to 
" forward it, a copy of my play of Mirandola, which was very 
" well received. I scarcely know how you will like it, but the style 
" is after a better fashion, I think, than what has generally been 
"followed of late years. I shall try to do better some of these 
" days, and in the mean time, if you have an idle five minutes, 
" I need not say that I shall feel flattered by your devoting them to 
"me. I am induced to say thus much because you have already 
" taken the trouble of thinking of me and my little literary ventures. 

" There is little book-news at present. Scott's Kenilworth has 
" been very well received, and there is a great deal of dramatic 
"power in the tale, tho' it is too much like a fragment of history, 
" and not altogether complete in itself, perhaps. Southey has tried 
"the English hexameter, and has written 7'he Vision of Jitdg- 
" ment ; but it will not be popular, I apprehend. I have not read 
" it. Thomas Moore has been in France, and has written nothing, 
" as you know. I wish he would dispatch one of his little piquant 
" duodecimos here. We want something to enliven us. Don Juan 
" is not out yet. Pray don't keep him back ; he is rather wicked, 
"but very delightful. Have you seen Shelley's Cencil It is a 
"very powerful performance, I think, tho' I wish he would let those 
"disagreeable subjects alone. Poor Keats is at Rome, dying, I 
" hear. Wordsworth and Coleridge are idle, as far as poetry is 
" concerned. This is all the news in my possession. 

" The Neapolitans have stirred our lazy blood a little. I hope, 
"however, that they will not (nor the Austrians) make your stay at 
" Venice either perilous or uncomfortable. Do not allow the hot 
"sun of the South to beget indolence upon you, but pray write as 
"much as is consistent with your health ; about this latter point I 
" beg you to believe that I am interested, as well as most sincerely 
" about every thing you do. 

" I am, my dear lord, 

" Your most obliged and sincere servt., 


" I do not send you my last book, Martian Colonna, as Mr. 

l820.] COURAGE IN DEATH. 39 

and quite wrong : men died calmly before the Christian 
sera, and since, without Christianity witness the Romans, 
and, lately, Thistlewood, 2 Sandt, 3 and Louvel 4 men who 
ought to have been weighed down with their crimes, even 
had they believed. A deathbed is a matter of nerves 
and constitution, and not of religion. Voltaire was 
frightened, Frederick of Prussia not : Christians the 
same, according to their strength rather than their creed. 
What does Helga Herbert 5 mean by his Stanza ? which. 

" Murray may perhaps have forwarded it to you among other new 
" publications. It is rather a hasty affair." 

1. Mrs. Hemans, in The Sceptic (1820), based the truth of religion 
on the misery of man without it, especially at the moment of death. 

2. Arthur Thistlewood (1770-1820), son of a Lincolnshire farmer, 
had three times attempted to inaugurate a revolution in London 
(Spa Fields, December 2, 1816 ; Smithfield, September 6, 1817 ; 
and October 12, 1817). For the first attempt he was tried for high 
treason ; but the case was not proceeded with. From May, 1818, to 
May, 1819, he was imprisoned in Horsham Gaol for a threatened 
breach of the peace by a challenge which he sent to Lord Sidmouth. 
Despairing of revolution, he fell back on assassination. His plan 
was to assassinate the Ministers at a Cabinet dinner to be given at 
Lord Harrowby's, February 23, 1820. On tke evening of the 23rd 
the conspirators were arrested in a loft over a stable in Cato Street. 
Thistlewood escaped, but was taken next day in Moorfields. He 
was hanged in front of Newgate, defiant to the last, on May i, 1820. 

3. Charles Sandt (1795-1820) assassinated Kotzebue (1761-1819), 
whom he suspected of being a Russian spy, at Mannheim, March 23, 

1819. After the murder he exclaimed, "God, I thank Thee, for 
"having permitted me to accomplish this act!" and plunged the 
knife in his own breast. He was executed at Mannheim, May 20, 

1820, going to the scaffold as to &f$te, and his last words were, that 
he died "for the liberty of Germany." 

4. For Pierre-Louis Louvel, see p. 20, note i. 

5. The Hon. William Herbert (1778-1847), poet, linguist, 
botanist, ornithologist, and divine, was the third son of the first Earl 
of Carnarvon. He began life as a barrister, and became M.P. first 
for Hampshire (1806), then for Cricklade (l8n). Ordained in 
1814, he was made Dean of Manchester in 1840. As a boy at Eton, 
he had edited the Muses Etonenses (1795). * n 1804-6 he published, 
in two parts, his Select Icelandic Poetry. Herbert was one of the 
earliest Edinburgh Reviewers, and hence Byron alludes to him in 
English Bards, and Scotch- Reviewers, lines 510, 511 

" Herbert shall wield Thor's hammer, and sometimes 
In gratitude, thou'lt praise his rugged rhymes." 


is octave got drunk or gone mad. He ought to have 
his ears boxed with Thor's hammer for rhyming so 

803. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, June 8"? 1 820. 

DEAR MURRAY, It is intimated to me that there is 
some demur and backwardness on your part to make 
propositions with regard to the MSS. transmitted to you 
at your own request. How or why this should occur, 
when you were in no respect limited to any terms, I 
know not, and do not care contenting myself with 
repeating that the two cantos of Juan were to reckon as 
one only, and that, even in that case you are not to consider 
yourself as bound by your former proposition, particularly 
as your people may have a bad opinion of the production, 
the whilk I am by no means prepared to dispute. 

With regard to the other MSS. (the prose will not be 
published in any case), I named nothing, and left the 
matter to you and to my friends. If you are the least 
shy (I do not say you are wrong), you can put the whole 
of the MSS. in Mr. Hobhouse's hands; and there the 
matter ends. Your declining to publish will not be any 
offence to me. 

Yours in haste, 

His Helga, a poem in seven cantos, appeared in 1815, and Hedin, or 
the Spectre of the Tomb, in 1820. The metre of Hedin is peculiar. 
Stanza Ivii. runs as follows : 

" Strange signs upon the tomb her hands did trace; 
Then to strong spells she did herself address, 
And in slow measure breathed that fatal strain, 
Whose awful harmony can wake the slain, 
Rive the cold grave, and work the charmer's will. 
Thrice, as she called on Hedin, rang the plain ; 
Thrice echoed the dread name from hill to hill ; 

Thrice the dark wold sent back the sound, and all was still." 


804, To Thomas Moore. 

Ravenna, June 9, 1820. 

Galignani has just sent me the Paris edition of your 
works (which I wrote to order), and I am glad to see 
my old friends with a French face. I have been skim- 
ming and dipping, in and over them, like a swallow, and 
as pleased as one. It is the first time that I had seen 
the Melodies without music ; and, I don't know how, but 
I can't read in a music-book the crotchets confound the 
words in my head, though I recollect them perfectly 
when sung. Music assists my memory through the ear, 
not through the eye ; I mean, that her quavers perplex 
me upon paper, but they are a help when heard. And 
thus I was glad to see the words without their borrowed 
robes ; to my mind they look none the worse for their 

The biographer 1 has made a botch of your life 
calling your father "a venerable old gentleman," and 
prattling of " Addison," and " dowager countesses." If 

I. In the " Sketch of Thomas Moore," prefixed to the collected 
edition of his works published by Galignani, the biographer speaks 
of " Mr. Moore, sen., a venerable old gentleman, the father of our 
"bard." Alluding to Moore's marriage with Miss Dyke, he says 
that "the fate of Addison with his Countess Dowager" held "out 
"no encouragement for the ambitious love of Mr. Moore." In his 
report of Moore's speech at Morrison's Hotel, Dublin, on June 8, 
1818, he represents Moore as saying, in response to Lord Charle- 
mont's toast of "the living Poets of Great Britain," "Can I 
' name to you a Byron, without recalling to your hearts recollections 
' of all that his mighty genius has awakened there ; his energy, his 
' burning words, his intense passion, that disposition of fine fancy 
' to wander only among the ruins of the heart, to dwell in places 
' which the fire of feeling has desolated, and, like the chestnut-tree, 
' that grows best in volcanic soils, to luxuriate most where the 
' conflagration of passion has left its mark ? " Other poets men- 
tioned by Moore were Scott, Southey, Rogers, Campbell, Words- 
worth, Crabbe, Maturin whose dramatic powers were "consecrated 
"by the applause of a Scott and a Byron," Sheil, Phillips, and 
Lady Morgan. 


that damned fellow was to write my life, I would certainly 
take his. And then, at the Dublin dinner, you have 
"made a speech" (do you recollect, at Douglas K.'s., 
" Sir, he made me a speech ? ") too complimentary to 
the "living poets," and somewhat redolent of universal 
praise. I am but too well off in it, but * * * 

You have not sent me any poetical or personal news 
of yourself. Why don't you complete an Italian Tour of 
the Fudges ? I have just been turning over Little, which 
I knew by heart in 1803, being then in my fifteenth 
summer. Heigho ! I believe all the mischief I have 
ever done, or sung, has been owing to that confounded 
book of yours. 

In my last I told you of a cargo of " Poeshie," which 
I had sent to M. at his own impatient desire ; and, now 
he has got it, he don't like it, and demurs. Perhaps he 
is right. I have no great opinion of any of my last ship- 
ment, except a translation from Pulci, which is word for 
word, and verse for verse. 

I am in the third act of a Tragedy ; but whether it 
will be finished or not, I know not: I have, at this 
present, too many passions of my own on hand to do 
justice to those of the dead. Besides the vexations 
mentioned in my last, I have incurred a quarrel with the 
Pope's carabiniers, or gens d'armerie^ who have petitioned 
the Cardinal against my liveries, as resembling too nearly 
their own lousy uniform. They particularly object to 
the epaulettes, which all the world with us have on upon 
gala days. My liveries are of the colours conforming to 
my arms, and have been the family hue since the year 

I have sent a trenchant reply, as you may suppose ; 
and have given to understand that, if any soldados of that 
respectable corps insult my servants, I will do likewise 


by their gallant commanders; and I have directed my 
ragamuffins, six in number, who are tolerably savage, to 
defend themselves, in case of aggression; and, on 
holidays and gaudy days, I shall arm the whole set, 
including myself, in case of accidents or treachery. I 
used to play pretty well at the broad-sword, once upon 
a time, at Angelo's; but I should like the pistol, our 
national buccaneer weapon, better, though I am out of 
practice at present. However, I can "wink and hold 
" out mine iron." l It makes me think (the whole thing 
does) of Romeo and Juliet " now, Gregory, remember 
" thy swashing blow." 2 

All these feuds, however, with the Cavalier for his 
wife, and the troopers for my liveries, are very tiresome 
to a quiet man, who does his best to please all the world, 
and longs for fellowship and good will. Pray write. 

I am yours, etc. 

805. To Richard Belgrave Hoppner. 

Ravenna, June 12"? 1820. 

MY DEAR HOPPNER, The accident is very disagree- 
able, but I do not see why you are to make up the loss, 
until it is quite clear that the money is lost ; nor even 
then, because I am not at all disposed to have you suffer 
for an act of trouble for another. If the money has been 
paid, and not accounted for (by Dorville's illness), it 
rests with me to supply the deficit, and, even if not, I am 
not at all clear on the justice of your making up the 
money of another, because it has been stolen from your 
bureau. You will of course examine into the matter 
thoroughly, because otherwise you live in a state of 

1. Henry V., act ii. sc. I. 

2. Romeo and Jttliet, act 5. sc. I. 


perpetual suspicion. Are you sure that the whole sum 
came from the Bankers ? was it counted since it passed 
to you by Mr. Dorville or by yourself? or was it kept 
unmixed with any cash of your own expences? in 
Venice and with Venetian servants any thing is possible 
and probable that savours of villainy. 

You may give up the house immediately and licentiate 
the Servitors, and pray, if it likes you not, sell the 
Gondola, and keep that produce and in (sic) the other 
balance in your hands till you can clear up this 

Mother Mocenigo will probably try a bill for break- 
ables, to which I reckoned that the new Canal posts and 
pillars, and the new door at the other end, together with 
the year's rent, and the house given up without further 
occupation, are an ample compensation for any cracking 
of crockery of her's in qflitto. Is it not so? how say 
you? the Canal posts and doors cost many hundred 
francs, and she may be content, or she may be damned ; 
it is no great matter which. Should I ever go to Venice 
again, I will betake me to the Hostel or Inn. 

I was greatly obliged by your translation from the 
German; but it is no time to plague you with such 
nonsense now, when in the full exasperation of this 
vexatious deficit. 

Make my best respects to Mrs. Hoppner, who doubt- 
less wishes me at the devil for all this trouble, and pray 

And believe me, yours ever and truly, 


P.S. Allegra is well and obstinate, much grown and 
a favourite. 

My love to your little boy. 


806. To Charles Hanson. 

Ravenna, June 15"? 1820. 

MY DEAR CHARLES, After a mature consideration 
I decided to agree to the mortgage, and sent my consent 
addressed jointly to Mr. Kinnaird with your father, a few 
days ago. 

The contents of the January packet have not been 
returned, because I presume that both the witnesses must 
be Britons, and the only one here besides myself is my 
servant Fletcher. Upon this point let me be avised. 

It would have given me pleasure that the Rochdale 
suit could have been terminated amicably, and without 
further law, but by arbitration; but since it must go 
before a Court, I resign myself to the decision, and wish 
to hear the result. 

I shall not return to England for the present, but I 
wish you to send me (obtain it) my summons as a Peer 
to the Coronation l (from curiosity), and let me know if 
we have any claims in our family (as connected with 
Sherwood Forest) to carry any part of the mummery, 
that they may not lapse, but, by being presented, be 
preserved to my Successors. 

It will give me great pleasure to hear further from 
you on these points ; and I beg you to believe me, with 
my best regards to your father and family, 

Yours ever and truly, 


I. The Coronation of George IV. was originally fixed for August 
I, 1820. But, owing to the proceedings against the Queen, the 
ceremony did not take place till July 19, 1821. 


807. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, July 6"? 1820. 

DEAR MURRAY, My former letters will prove that I 
found no fault with your opinions nor with you for acting 
upon them but I do protest against your keeping me 
four months in suspense without any answer at all. As 
it is you will keep back the remaining trash till I have 
woven the tragedy of which I am in the 4 th act. With 
regard to terms I have already said that I named and 
name none. They are points which I leave between you 
and my friends, as I cannot judge upon the subject; 
neither to you nor to them have I named any sum, nor 

have I thought of any, nor does it matter But if you 

don't answer my letters I shall resort to the Row where 
I shall not find probably good manners or liberality 
but at least I shall have an answer of some kind. You 
must not treat a blood horse as you do your hacks, other- 
wise he'll bolt out of the course. Keep back the stuff 
till I can send you the remainder but recollect that I 
don't promise that the tragedy will be a whit better than 
the rest. All I shall require then will be a positive 
answer but a speedy one and not an awkward delay. 
Now you have spoken out are you any the worse for it ? 
and could not you have done so five months ago ? Do 
you think I lay a stress on the merits of my " poeshie." 
I assure you I have many other things to think of. At 
present I am eager to know the result of the Colliery 
question between the Rochdale people and myself. The 
cause has been heard but as yet Judgement is not 
passed at least if it is I have not heard of it. Here is 
one thing of importance to my private affairs. The next 
is that I have been the cause of a great conjugal scrape 
here which is now before the Pope (seriously I assure 


you) and what the decision of his Sanctity will be no 
one can predicate. It would be odd that having left 
England for one Woman ("Vittoria Carambana the 
" White Devil " 1 to wit) I should have to quit Italy for 
another. The husband is the greatest man in these parts 
with 100000 Scudi a year but he is a great Brunello 2 in 

1. Byron refers to John Webster's play of The White Devil, pub- 
lished in 1612 under the following title : The White Divel, or, the 
Tragedy of Paulo\ Giordano Ursini, Duke of Brachiano, With the 
Life and Death of Vittoria Corombona the famous Venetian Curtizan. 
Acted by the Queenes Maiesties Seruants. Written by John Webster 
(London, 1612, 4*). In the tragedy Brachiano, married to 
Isabella de Medici, loves Vittoria, wife to Camillo. Vittoria's 
brother, Flamineo, promotes Brachiano's intrigue, and contrives 
the murder of Camillo and Isabella. <? Tried before the Duke of 
Florence, Isabella's brother, and the Cardinal Monticelso, Vittoria 
defends herself with such art that, though condemned, she wins the 
love of the Duke. He writes to her in the " Convent of Convertites," 
where she is confined, suggesting a plan for her escape. Brachiano 
gains possession of the letter, and uses the plan for his own purposes. 
The Duke kills Brachiano, and two of his friends kill Flamineo 
and Vittoria. 

From 1663 to 1682 the play was one of the stock pieces at the 
Theatre Royal (Genest's English Stage, vol. i. pp. 334 and 346). 
Speaking of the fine trial scene, Charles Lamb says (Specimens of 
Eng. Dram. Poets, p. 229) 

" This White Devil of Italy sets off a bad cause so speciously, 
' and pleads with such an innocence resembling boldness, that we 
' seem to see that matchless beauty of her face which inspires such 
' gay confidence into her : and are ready to expect, when she has 
'done her pleadings, that her very judges, her accusers, the grave 
' ambassadors who sit as spectators, and all the court, will rise and 
' make proffer to defend her in spite of the utmost conviction of her 
' guilt." 

The story is founded on history. Vittoria Accoramboni (1557- 
1585) married (1573) Francesco Peretti, nephew of Cardinal Mon- 
talto, afterwards Pope Sixtus V. Peretti was murdered (1581), 
and his widow, in the same year, was tried for the crime, and 
acquitted. She then married Paolo Giordano Orsini, Duke of 
Bracciano, himself suspected of the assassination. When Peretti's 
uncle became (1585) Pope, Orsini and his wife fled to Venice. 
There he died, not without suspicion of poison, and at the close of 
the same year (December 22, 1585) Vittoria and her brother 
Flaminio were murdered at Padua. The story is told at length 
by J. A. Symonds, in his Renaissance in Italy, " The Catholic 
" Reaction," part i. pp. 381-399. 

2. In Orlando Furioso "Brunello" is a leader in the Saracen 


politics and private life and is shrewdly suspected of 
more than one murder. The relatives are on my side 
because they dislike him. We wait the event. 

Yours truly, 


808. To Thomas Moore. 

Ravenna, July 13, 1820. 

To remove or increase your Irish anxiety about my 
being " in a wisp," l I answer your letter forthwith ; 
premising that, as I am a " Will of the wisp," I may 
chance to flit out of it. But, first, a word on the Memoir ; 2 
I have no objection, nay, I would rather that one 
correct copy was taken and deposited in honourable 
hands, in case of accidents happening to the original ; 
for you know that I have none, and have never even 
re-read, nor, indeed, read at all what is there written ; I 
only know that I wrote it with the fullest intention to be 

army, the misshapen dwarf to whom the king gave the talismanic 

" Brunello is his name that hath the ring, 
Most leud and false, but politike and wise." 

Sir John Harington's translation of Orlando 
Furioso, bk. iii. stanza 58. 

1. "An Irish phrase for being in a scrape " (Moore). 

2. In Moore's Rhymes on the Road, Extract vii. ( Works, ed. 
1854, vol. vii. pp. 301-304), will be found a poem written at 
Venice when about to open the Memoirs for the first time 

" Let me a moment, ere with fear and hope 
Of gloomy, glorious things, these leaves I ope 
As one, in fairy tale, to whom the key 

Of some enchanter's secret halls is given, 
Doubts, while he enters, slowly, tremblingly, 

If he shall meet with shapes from hell or heaven 

Let me, a moment, think what thousands live 
O'er the wide earth this instant, who would give, 
Gladly, whole sleepless nights to bend the brow 
Over these precious leaves, as I do now," etc., etc. 

1820.] THE POPE'S DECREE. 49 

" faithful and true " in my narrative, but not impartial 
no, by the Lord ! I can't pretend to be that, while I feel. 
But I wish to give every body concerned the opportunity 
to contradict or correct me. 

I have no objection to any proper person seeing what 
is there written, seeing it was written, like every thing 
else, for the purpose of being read, however much many 
writings may fail in arriving at that object. 

With regard to " the wisp," the Pope has pronounced 
their separation. The decree came yesterday from 
Babylon, it was she and her friends who demanded it, 
on the grounds of her husband's (the noble Count 
Cavalier's) extraordinary usage. He opposed it with all 
his might because of the alimony, which has been 
assigned, with all her goods, chattels, carriage, etc., to be 
restored by him. 1 In Italy they can't divorce. He 
insisted on her giving me up, and he would forgive every 
thing, even the adultery, which he swears that he can 
prove by " famous witnesses." But, in this country, the 
very courts hold such proofs in abhorrence, the Italians 
being as much more delicate in public than the English, 
as they are more passionate in private. 

The friends and relatives, who are numerous and 
powerful, reply to him " You, yourself, are either fool 
" or knave, fool, if you did not see the consequences of 
" the approximation of these two young persons, knave, 
"if you connive at it. Take your choice, but don't 
" break out (after twelve months of the closest intimacy, 
"under your own eyes and positive sanction) with a 
" scandal, which can only make you ridiculous and her 
" unhappy." 

I. On July 1 6 Madame Guiccioli left Ravenna, and retired to 
a villa belonging to her father, Count Gamba, about fifteen miles 
from the city. The alimony allowed by her husband was ,200 a 

VOL. V. E 


He swore that he thought our intercourse was purely 
amicable, and that / was more partial to him than to her, 
till melancholy testimony proved the contrary. To this 
they answer, that "Will of this wisp" was not an un- 
known person, and that " clamosa Fama " had not pro- 
claimed the purity of my morals ; that her brother, a 
year ago, wrote from Rome to warn him that his wife 
would infallibly be led astray by this ignis fatuus, unless 
he took proper measures, all of which he neglected to 
take, etc., etc. 

Now he says that he encouraged my return to 
Ravenna, to see " in quanti piedi di acqua siamo" and he 
has found enough to drown him in. In short, 

" Ce ne fut pas le tout ; sa femme se plaignit 

Proces La parente se joint en excuse et dit 
Que du Docteur venoit tout le mauvais menage ; 
Que cet homme etoit fou, que sa femme etoit sage. 
On fit casser le mariage." 1 

It is best to let the women alone, in the way of conflict, 
for they are sure to win against the field. She returns to 
her father's house, and I can only see her under great 
restrictions such is the custom of the country. The 
relations behave very well: I offered any settlement, 
but they refused to accept it, and swear she shan't live 
with G. (as he has tried to prove her faithless), but that 
he shall maintain her ; and, in fact, a judgment to this 
effect came yesterday. I am, of course, in an awkward 
situation enough. 

I have heard no more of the carabiniers who 

I. Byron quotes from La Fontaine's "Le Roi Candaule et le 
" Maftre en Droit" The last lines are 
" Et puis la dame se rendit 
Belle et bonne religieuse 
A Saint-Croissant en Vavoureuse 
Un prelat lui donna 1'habit." j 


protested against my liveries. They are not popular, 
those same soldiers, and, in a small row, the other night, 
one was slain, another wounded, and divers put to flight, 
by some of the Romagnuole youth, who are dexterous, 
and somewhat liberal of the knife. The perpetrators are 
not discovered, but I hope and believe that none of my 
ragamuffins were in it, though they are somewhat savage, 
and secretly armed, like most of the inhabitants. It is 
their way, and saves sometimes a good deal of litigation. 

There is a revolution at Naples. If so, it will prob- 
ably leave a card at Ravenna in its way to Lombardy. 

Your publishers seem to have used you like mine. 
M. has shuffled, and almost insinuated that my last 
productions are dull. Dull, sir ! damme, dull ! I 
believe he is right. He begs for the completion of my 
tragedy of Marino Faliero^ none of which is yet gone to 
England. The fifth act is nearly completed, but it is 
dreadfully long 40 sheets of long paper of 4 pages each 
about 150 when printed; but "so full of pastime and 
" prodigality " that I think it will do. 

Pray send and publish your Pome upon me; and 
don't be afraid of praising me too highly. I shall pocket 
my blushes. 

" Not actionable ! " Chantretfenfer! l by * * that's 
" a speech," and I won't put up with it. A pretty title to 
give a man for doubting if there be any such place ! 

So my Gail is gone and Miss Mah0/zy won't take 

I. The phrase occurs in the Premieres Meditations Pottiques of 
Lamartine, towards the end of the poem " L'Homme a Lord 
" Byron." 

" Mais silence, 6 ma lyre ! Et toi, qui dans tes mains 
Tiens le cceur palpitant des sensibles humains, 
Byron, viens en tirer des torrents d'harmonie ; 
C'est pour la verite que Dieu fit le genie. 
Jette un cri vers le ciel, 6 chantre des enfers ! 
Le ciel meme aux damnes enviera tes concerts." 


money. I am very glad of it I like to be generous, free 
of expense. But beg her not to translate me. 

Oh, pray tell Galignani that I shall send him a screed 
of doctrine if he don't be more punctual. Somebody 
regularly detains two, and sometimes four, of his 
Messengers by the way. Do, pray, entreat him to be 
more precise. News are worth money in this remote 
kingdom of the Ostrogoths. 

Pray, reply. I should like much to share some of 
your Champagne and La Fitte, but I am too Italian for 
Paris in general. Make Murray send my letter to you 
it is full of epigrams. 

Yours, etc. 

809. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, July 17, 1820. 

DEAR MURRAY, Moore writes that he has not yet 
received my letter of January 2? consigned to your care 
for him. I believe this is the sixth time I have begged 
of you to forward it, and I shall be obliged by your so 

I have received some books, and quarterlies, and 
Edinburgh*, for all which I am grateful : they contain all 
I know of England, except by Galignani's newspaper. 

The tragedy is completed, but now comes the task of 
copy and correction. It is very long, (42 Sheets of long 
paper, of 4 pages each), and I believe must make more 
than 140 or 150 pages, besides many historical extracts 
as notes, which I mean to append. History is closely 
followed. Dr. Moore's account 1 is in some respects 

I. Dr. John Moore (1729-1802) published his View of Society and 
Manners in Italy (2 vols., 8vo) in 1781. In the Preface to Marino 
Faliero, Byron speaks of Moore's account as "false and flippant, 
"full of stale jests about old men and young wives, and wondering 
" at so great an effect from so slight a cause." 


false, and in all foolish and flippant. None of the 
Chronicles (and I have consulted Sanuto, 1 Sandi, 
Navagero, and an anonymous Siege of Zara, besides the 
histories of Laugier, Daru, Sismondi, etc.) state, or even 
hint, that he begged his life; they merely say that he 
did not deny the conspiracy. He was one of their great 
men, commanded at the siege of Zara, beat 80,000 
Hungarians, killing 8000, and at the same time kept the 
town he was besieging in order. Took Capo d'Istria ; 
was ambassador at Genoa, Rome, and finally Doge, 
where he fell for treason, in attempting to alter the 
Government, by what Sanuto calls a Judgement on him, 
for, many years before (when Podesta and Captain of 
Treviso), having knocked down a bishop, who was 
sluggish in carrying the host at a procession. He 
" saddles him," as Thwackum did Square, " with a Judge- 
" ment ; " 2 but does not mention whether he had been 
punished at the time for what would appear very strange 
even now, and must have been still more so in an age of 
Papal power and glory. Sanuto says, that Heaven took 
away his senses for this buffet in his old age, and in- 
duced him to conspire. Pero fu permesso che il Faliero 
perdette rintelletto, etc. 

I don't know what your parlour boarders will think 
of the drama I have founded upon this extraordinary 
event: the only similar one in history is the story of 

1. Marino Sanuto (1466-1535) wrote Vitce ducum Venetorum ab 
origine urbis, sive ab anno 421 ad annum 1493. Though the title is 
in Latin, the work is in Italian. It was first published by Muratori 
i n J 733 (Rerum Italicorum Scriptores, torn. xxii.). In the Preface 
and Notes to Marino Faliero, Byron quotes as his authorities 
Sanuto, Vettor Sandi, Andrea Navagero, the anonymous account 
of the siege of Zara preserved in Morelli's Monumenti Veneziani, 
Laugier's Histoire de Venise, Daru's Histoire de la Rtpublique de 
Venise, Sismondi's Histoire des ReptMiques Italiennes, and Petrarch's 

2. Tom Jones, bk. iv. 


Agis, King of Sparta, 1 a prince with the Commons 
against the aristocracy, and losing his life therefor ; but 
it shall be sent when copied. 

I should be glad to know why your Quartering- 
Reviewers, at the close of the Fall of Jei-usalem, accuse 
me of Manicheism ? a compliment to which the sweetener 
of " one of the mightiest Spirits " by no means reconciles 
me. The poem they review is very noble; but could 
they not do justice to the writer without converting him 
into my religious Antidote? I am not a Manichean, 
nor an ,/4/y-chean. I should like to know what harm 
my " poeshies " have done : I can't tell what your people 
mean by making me a hobgoblin. 2 

1. Agis IV., King of Sparta (B.C. 244-240), said to one of his 
executioners whom he saw in tears, " Weep not, my man ! Though 
" I suffer death contrary both to law and justice, yet am I in happier 
"case than my murderers" (Plutarch, APIS, 20). "Pausamas's 
"statement that Agis was killed in the battle is implicitly contra- 
" dieted by Plutarch, who describes in detail how Agis was seized 
"by conspirators in Sparta and put to death" (Eraser's Pausanias, 
vol. iv. p. 217). 

2. The Fall of Jerusalem, by Henry Hart Milman, appeared in 
1820. In the Preface to Marino Faliero, Byron, speaking of the 
play, says, " But surely there is dramatic power somewhere, where 

' Joanna Baillie, and Milman, and John Wilson exist. The ' City 
' of the Plague ' and the ' Fall of Jerusalem ' are full of the best 
' ' materiel ' for tragedy that has been seen since Horace Walpole, 
'except passages of Ethel wald and De Montfort." The Quarterly 
eviewer, Bishop Heber, says, " Mr. Milman has much to add to his 
' own reputation and that of his country. Remarkably as Britain 
'is now distinguished by its living poetical talent, our time has 
' room for him. For sacred poetry (a walk which Milton alone has 
'hitherto successfully trodden) his taste, his peculiar talents, his 
' education, and his profession appear alike to designate him ; and, 
' while by a strange predilection for the worser half of Manicheism, 
'one of the mightiest spirits of the age has, apparently, devoted 
' himself and his genius to the adornment and extension of evil, we 
' may be well exhilarated by the accession of a new and potent ally 
' to the cause of human virtue and happiness, whose example may 
' furnish an additional evidence that purity and weakness are not 
' synonymous, and that the torch of genius never burns so bright 
' as when duly kindled at the altar." Quarterly Review on the Fall 
of Jerusalem, vol. xxiii. p. 225. 

1 8 20.] TWICE A HOBGOBLIN. 55 

This is the second thing of the same sort: they 
could not even give a lift to that poor Creature, Gaily 
Knight, without a similar insinuation about "moody 
"passions." Now, are not the passions the food and 
fuel of poesy ? I greatly admire Milman ; but they had 
better not bring me down upon Gaily, for whom I have 
no such admiration. I suppose he buys two thousand 
pounds' worth of books in a year, which makes you so 
tender of him. But he won't do, my Murray: he's 
middling, and writes like a Country Gentleman for the 
County Newspaper. 

I shall be glad to hear from you, and you'll write 
now, because you will want to keep me in a good 
humour till you can see what the tragedy is fit for. I 
know your ways, my Admiral. 

Yours ever truly, 

810. To Richard Belgrave Hoppner. 

Ravenna, July 2O' 1 ; 1820. 

MY DEAR HOPPNER, On Vincenzo's return I will 
send you some books, though the latter arrivals have not 
been very interesting you shall have the best of them. 

You do not mention that Vincenzo delivered to you a 
paper with sixty francs ; he had it; did you get it? they 
were for the tickets. 

Lega tells me that the Mocenigo Inventory was 
delivered last week; is it so? I made him send to 
Venice on purpose. 

With regard to Mrs. Mocenigo, I am ready to 
deliver up the palace directly ; with respect to breakables 
she can have no claim till June next, the rent being 
stipulated as prior payment (and paid), but not the 
articles missing till the whole period was expired. I 


have replenished three times over, and made good by 
the equivalent of the doors, and Canal posts (to say 
nothing of the exorbitant rent), any little damage done 
to her pottery. If any articles are taken by mistake, 
they shall be restored or replaced; but I will submit 
to no exorbitant charge, nor imposition. You had best 
state this by Seranzo, who seduced me into having 
anything to do with her, and who has probably still 
something of the gentleman about him. What she may 
do, I neither know nor care : if they like law, they shall 
have it for years to come, and if they gain, what then ? 
They will find it difficult to "shear the Wolf" no longer 
in Lombardy. They are a damned infamous set, and, to 
prevent any unpleasantness to you with that nest of 
whores and scoundrels, state my words as my words; 
who can blame you when you merely take the trouble to 
repeat what I say, and to restore what I am disposed to 
give up, that is her house, a year before it is due, 
thereby losing a year's rent ? 

I can hardly spare Lega at this moment, or I would 
willingly send him. At any rate you can give up the 
house, and let us battle for her crockery afterwards. 

I regret to hear what you say of yourself, if you want 
any cash, pray use any balance in your hands (of course) 
without ceremony. I am glad the Gondola was sold at 
any price as I only wanted to get rid of it. 

I am not very well, having had a twinge of fever 
again ; the heat is 83 in the Shade. 

I suppose you know that there is a Revolution at 

Yours ever and truly, in haste, 


P.S. I have finished a tragedy in five acts, Marino 


Faliero ; but now comes the bore of copying, and in 
this weather too. 

Comp 1 . 5 to Madame Hoppner. 

811. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, July 22 n <? 1820. 

DEAR MURRAY, The tragedy is finished, but when 
it will be copied is more than can be reckoned upon. 
We are here upon the eve of evolutions and revolutions. 
Naples is revolutionized, and the ferment is among the 
Romagnuoles, by far the bravest and most original of 
the present Italians, though still half savage. Buonaparte 
said the troops from Romagna were the best of his Italic 
corps, and I believe it. The Neapolitans are not worth 
a curse, and will be beaten if it comes to fighting : the 
rest of Italy, I think, might stand. The Cardinal is at 
his wits' end ; it is true that he had not far to go. Some 
papal towns on the Neapolitan frontier have already 
revolted. Here there are as yet but the sparks of the 
volcano; but the ground is hot, and the air sultry. 
Three assassinations last week here and at Faenza an 
anti-liberal priest, a factor, and a trooper last night, I 
heard the pistol-shot that brought him down within a 
short distance of my own door. There had been quarrels 
between the troops and people of some duration : this is 
the third soldier wounded within the last month. There 
is a great commotion in people's minds, which will lead 
to nobody knows what a row probably. There are 
secret Societies all over the country as in Germany, who 
cut off those obnoxious to them, like the Free tribunals, 
be they high or low ; and then it becomes impossible to 
discover or punish the assassins their measures are 
taken so well. 


You ask me about the books. Jerusakm l is the best ; 
Anastasius 2 good, but no more written by a Greek than 
by a Hebrew ; the Diary of an Invalid good and true, 
bating a few mistakes about Serventismo? which no 

1. The Fall of Jerusalem, a dramatic poem by Henry Hart 
Milman (1820). 

2. Anastasius, or Memoirs of a Greek, -written at the close of the 
Eighteenth Century (1819), was written by Thomas Hope (1770- 
1831), son of a wealthy merchant of Amsterdam, who settled in 
England in 1796. As a collector of ancient vases and marbles, and 
as a writer on Household Furniture and Interior Decoration (1807), 
Byron alludes to Hope in a suppressed stanza of Childe Harold, 
Canto II. 

" Nor that lesser wight, 
The victim sad of vase-collecting spleen, 
House-furnisher withal, one Thomas hight." 

In 1810 Hope disputed the price of his wife's portrait with the 
artist, Dubost, who revenged himself by exhibiting a caricature of 
them as " Beauty and the Beast." In Hints from Horace (lines 7, 8, 
and note l) Byron refers to the exhibition 

" Or low Dubost as once the world has seen 
Degrade God's creatures in his graphic spleen ? " 

Byron evidently regarded Hope, in Sydney Smith's phrase, as only 
" the man of chairs and tables, the gentleman of sophas, the GEdipus 
"of coal-boxes, he who meditated on muffineers and planned 
" pokers," and was surprised at the power which he displayed in his 
Anastasius. The book was at first attributed to Byron. It is 
reviewed as his in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine for September, 
1821 (pp. 200-206). "I must," wrote Croker to Murray (Memoir 
of John Murray, vol. ii. p. 76), "believe in the 'Metempsychosis,' 
"and that Tom Hope's late body is now the tabernacle of Lord 
"Byron's soul." Byron told Lady Blessington (Conversations, p. 
64) that he wept bitterly, on reading Anastasius, first because he 
had not written the book, and then because Hope had. He added 
that "he would have given his two most approved poems to have 
4 ' been the author of Anastasius. " Scott, in the Introduction to 
T/ie Talisman, says that "the author of Anastasius . . . had de- 
4 scribed the manners and vices of the Eastern nations, not only 
4 with fidelity, but with the humour of Le Sage and the ludicrous 
4 power of Fielding himself." 

3. "It is indeed, nine times in ten, to the fault of the husband, 
' that the infidelity of the wife is to be ascribed . . . the truth is 
4 better attested by the exemplary conduct of those women, whose 
4 husbands take upon themselves to perform the offices of affection, 
4 that are ordinarily left to the Cavaliere. . . . Nor is it always a 
' criminal connexion that subsists between a Lady and her Cavaliere, 
4 though it is generally supposed to be so. ... The Lady must not 

l820.] SERVENTISMO. 59 

foreigner can understand or really know without residing 
years in the country. I read that part (translated that is) 
to some of the ladies in the way of knowing how far it 
was accurate, and they laughed, particularly at the part 
where he says that " they must not have children by their 
"lover." "Assuredly" (was the answer), "we don't 
" pretend to say that it is right ; but men cannot conceive 
" the repugnance that a woman has to have children except 
" by the man she loves'' They have been known even to 
obtain abortions when it was by the other, but that is rare. 
I know one instance, however, of a woman making 
herself miscarry, because she wanted to meet her lover 
(they were in two different cities) in the lying-in month 
(hers was or should have been in October). She was a 
very pretty woman young and clever and brought on 
by it a malady which she has not recovered to this day : 
however, she met her Amico by it at the proper time. It 
is but fair to say that he had dissuaded her from this 
piece of amatory atrocity, and was very angry when he 
knew that she had committed it; but the "it was for 
"your sake, to meet you at the time, which could not 
" have been otherwise accomplished," applied to his Self 
love, disarmed him ; and they set about supplying the loss. 

I have had a little touch of fever again ; but it has 
receded. The heat is 85 in the shade. 

I remember what you say of the Queen : it happened 

in Lady Ox 's boudoir or dressing room, if I recollect 

rightly ; but it was not her Majesty's fault, though very 
laughable at the time : a minute sooner, she might have 
stumbled on something still more awkward. How the 
Porcelain came there I cannot conceive, and remember 

"have children by her Paramour ; at least, the notoriety of such a 
"fact would be attended with the loss of reputation." Diary of 
an In-valid (ed. 1820), pp. 258-262. 


asking Lady O. afterwards, who laid the blame on the 
Servants. I think the Queen will win * I wish she may : 

i. Queen Caroline (1768-1821), second daughter of Duke Charles 
of Brunswick- Wolfenbiittel by the Princess Augusta, sister of 
George III., married, April 8, 1795, her first cousin George, Prince 
of Wales, afterwards George IV. After the birth of Princess 
Charlotte (January 7, 1796), the prince deserted his wife, from 
whom, three months later, he was formally separated. In 1806 
rumours spread by Lady Douglas induced George III. to issue a 
commission of inquiry into the conduct of the princess. The com- 
mission, though it censured her levity of manners, acquitted her 
from anymore serious charge. On August 9, 1814, with the consent 
of the prince regent, the princess, who was forbidden the court or 
access to her daughter, went abroad. Early in her residence on the 
Continent, she engaged Bartolommeo Bergami as her courier, made 
him her chamberlain, procured for him a knighthood of Malta and 
a barony in Sicily, and promoted his relations to important offices 
about her person. She travelled in the East, and afterwards settled 
for some time at Como and Pesaro. 

Some of the charges against the queen probably originated in her 
irrepressible spirits and want of dignity. Sir William Cell, a 
member of her household, writing to Miss Berry, September 29, 
1817 (Journal, etc., of Miss Berry, vol. iii. p. 145), says, "If fate 
'ever puts you in the way, make her tell you how the Empress 
' Marie Louisa invited her to Parma ; how the attendants dined in 
' the outer room ; and how, in full dress feathers, and velvet 
' chairs with heavy gold legs and backs, the two ladies sat at a 
' very long tete-a-tete before dinner at a fire. ' You imagine it not 
' very entertaining ; I assure you, very doll (dull), I yarn (yawn), 
' and she de same ; mein Gott, I balance on my chaire mit my feet 
' pon die fire. What you tink ? I tomble all back mit di chair, 
' and mit meine legs in die air ; man see nothing more als my 
' feet. I die from laugh, and what you tink she do ? She stir not, 
' she laugh not ; but mit die utmost gravity she say, " Mon Dieu, 
'madame, comme vous m'avez effraye." I go in fits of laugh, and 
' she repeat di same word witout variation or change of feature. 
' I not able to resist bursting out every moment at dinner, and die 
' to get away to my gens to tell die story. We all scream mit di 
' ridiculousness for my situation.' " 

On the death of George III. (January 29, 1820) she returned to 

England as queen, was enthusiastically received at Dover (June 5), 

and entered London (June 6) "at seven o'clock in the evening, in 

'an open landau, the alderman (Wood) sitting by her side, and 

' Lady A. Hamilton backwards ! . . . She took up her residence 

' at Alderman Wood's house in South Audley Street. Ever since 

' her arrival, the house has been surrounded by immense crowds of 

' people, huzzaing, and crying, ' Long live Queen Caroline ! ' " (Lady 

C. Lindsay's Journal of the Queen's Trial, Journal, etc., of Miss 

Berry, vol. iii. pp. 238, 239). Proceedings were at once taken 


she was always very civil to me. You must not trust 
Italian witnesses: nobody believes them in their own 
courts; why should you? For 50 or 100 Sequins you 
may have any testimony you please, and the Judge into 
the bargain. 

Yours ever, 

Pray forward my letter of January to Mr. Moore. 

against her. A message from the king was presented to the House 
of Lords by Lord Liverpool, June 6, 1820, communicating "certain 
"papers respecting the conduct of Her Majesty since her departure 
" from this kingdom," and recommending them to the consideration 
of the House. The papers were contained in a green bag. A 
secret committee of fifteen peers was appointed by ballot, June 8, 
to whom the papers were referred. On their report (July 4), Lord 
Liverpool proposed, July 5, a Bill of Pains and Penalties : " An 
"Act to deprive Her Majesty Queen Caroline Amelia Elizabeth of 
" the title, prerogatives, rights, privileges, and exemptions of Queen- 
" Consort of this realm, and to dissolve the marriage between His 
' ' Majesty and the said Caroline Amelia Elizabeth." The Bill was read 
a first time the same day, and the second reading was fixed for August 
17. On that day the trial began. The division was taken November 
6, when 123 voted for the second reading of the Bill, and 95 against. 

The queen was defended by her Attorney-General, Henry 
Brougham ; by her Solicitor-General, Thomas Benman ; by " Dr. 
" Lushington, a civilian ; and Messrs. John Williams, Tindal and 
" Wilde, utter barristers." 

Meanwhile pamphlets and squibs ridiculing the king and the 
Government poured from the press ; indignation meetings were held 
throughout the country, and popular feeling ran high in the queen's 
favour. So great was the excitement that, on November 10, Lord 
Liverpool withdrew the Bill, and the queen went in state to St. 
Paul's, ten days later, to return thanks for her acquittal. At the 
coronation of George IV., July 19, 1821, she was refused admission 
to the ceremony, and the blow is said to have proved fatal. Taken 
ill the next day, she died August 7, 1821. 

Byron, stimulated by Hobhouse, took an interest in the cause of 
the queen, who had shown him civility in London, and, while living 
at Pesaro, was known to Countess Guiccioli. He had long intended 
to return to England and challenge Brougham, but abandoned his 
intention, lest the challenge should injure her defence. He en- 
deavoured to induce witnesses on her behalf to go from Italy to 
England, collected information as to the character of witnesses called 
against her, and suppressed a stanza in Don Juan which seemed to 
reflect on her character. The queen's story forms the subject of 
Mrs. Stepney Rawson's novel, A Lady of the Regency (1900). 


8 1 2. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, July 24.^, 1820. 

DEAR MURRAY, Enclosed is the account from 
Marin Sanuto of Faliero, 1 etc. You must have it trans- 
lated (to append original and translation to the drama 
when published) : it is very curious and simple in itself, 
and authentic; I have compared it with the other 
histories. That blackguard Dr. Moore has published a 
false and flippant story of the transaction. 


P.S. The first act goes by this post. Recollect that, 
without previously reading the Chronicle, it is difficult to 
understand the tragedy. So, translate. I had this 
reprinted separately on purpose. 

813. To John Hanson. 

Ravenna, July 27"? 1820. 

DEAR SIR, I have received from Mr. Kinnaird the 
intelligence of the Rochdale decision. 2 It has not sur- 
prized me, and there is no more to be said. Even if a 
further question could arise, I am not disposed to carry 
it higher. What I desire to be done, and done quickly, 
is to bring the Manor, and my remaining rights 
immediately to auction, and sell it to the highest bidder 

1. The original, and a translation by Francis Cohen, afterwards 
Sir Francis Palgrave (see Letters, vol. iv. p. 341, note i), were added 
to the first edition of Marino Faliero as Appendix I. and II. 

2. In the Court of Exchequer, before the Lord Chief Baron, 
June 5, 1820, the Rochdale case came on for trial. James Dearden 
obtained an injunction restraining Byron from prosecuting a writ 
of ejectment to recover possession of mineral property at Rochdale. 
The property was sold to Dearden in 1823. 


without consideration of price : it will at least pay the 
law expences, and part of the remaining debts. 

Pray let this be done without delay, and believe me 

Yours very truly, 


P.S. I presume that you proceed in the transfer 
from the funds to the Irish Mortgage. 

814. To Charles Hanson. 

Ravenna, August 2? 1820. 

DEAR CHARLES, I have received your letter. That 
being the case, I hereby authorize you to enter an Appeal 
immediately. Inform me when and where the further 
proceedings will come on. 

Yours truly and affectionately, 


815. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, Agosto 7, 1820. 

DEAR MURRAY, I have sent you three acts of the 
tragedy, and am copying the others slowly but daily. 
Enclosed are some verses * Rose sent me two years ago 
and more. They are excellent description. 

Pray desire Douglas K. to give you a copy of my 
lines to the Po in 1819 : they say " they be good rhymes," 
and will serve to swell your next volume. Whenever 
you publish, publish all as you will, except the two Juans, 
which had better be annexed to a new edition of the two 
first, as they are not worth separate publication, and I 
won't barter about them. 

I. For the verses, see Lettws, vol. iv. pp. 212-214. 


Pulci is my favourite, that is, my translation : I think 
it the acme of putting one language into another. 

I have sent you my say upon your recent books. 
Ricciarda l I have not yet read, having lent it to the 
natives, who will pronounce upon it. The Italians have 
as yet no tragedy Alfieri's are political dialogues, except 

Bankes has done miracles of research and enterprize 
salute him. 

I am yours, 


Pray send me by the first opportunity some of Waiters 
red tooth-powder. 

8 1 6. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, August I2 t! ?, 1820. 

DEAR MURRAY, Ecco, the fourth Act. 

Received powder tincture books. The first wel- 
come, second ditto the prose at least; but no more 
modern poesy, I pray ; neither Mrs. Hewoman's, nor any 
female or male Tadpole of Poet Wordsworth's, nor 
any of his ragamuffins. 

Send me more tincture by all means, and Scott's 
novels the Monastery. 

We are on the eve of a row here : Italy's primed and 
loaded, and many a finger itching for the trigger. So 
write letters while you can. I can say no more in mine, 
for they open all. 

Yours very truly, 


I. Rictiarda t Tragedia (in five acts), was published by Niccolo 
Ugo Foscolo in 1820. (For Foscolo, see Letters, vol. iv. p. 283, 
note I.) 


P.S. Recollect that I told you months ago what 
would happen ; it is the same all over the boot, though 
the heel has been the first to kick : never mind these 
enigmas they'll explain themselves. 

817. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, August I7 t! . 1 1820. 

DEAR MORAY, In t'other parcel is the 5 l - h Act. 
Enclosed in this are some notes historical. Pray send 
me no proofs ; it is the thing I can least bear to see. 
The preface shall be written and sent in a few days. 
Acknowledge the arrival by return of post. 


P.S. The time for the Dante would be good now 
(did not her Majesty occupy all nonsense), as Italy is on 
the eve of great things. 

I hear Mr. Hoby says "that it makes him weep to 
" see her She reminds him so much of Jane Shore." 

Mr. Hoby the Bootmaker's soft heart is sore, 
For seeing the Queen makes him think of Jane Shore ; 
And, in fact, such a likeness should always be seen 
Why should Queens not be whores ? Every Whore is a 

This is only an epigram to the ear. I think she will win : 
I am sure she ought, poor woman. 

Is it true that absent peers are to be mulcted ? does 
this include those who have not taken the oaths in the 
present parliament ? I can't come, and I won't pay. 

VOL. v. 


8 1 8. To John Murray. 

August 22"d 1 82O. 

DEAR MURRAY, None of your damned proofs now 
recoiled ; print, paste, plaster, and destroy but don't let 
me have any of your cursed printers' trash to pore over. 
For the rest, I neither know nor care. 


819. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, August 24"? 1820. 

DEAR MURRAY, Enclosed is an additional note to 
the play sent you the other day. The preface is sent 
too, but as I wrote it in a hurry (the latter part par- 
ticularly), it may want some alterations : if so, let me 
know, and what your parlour boarders think of the 
matter. Remember, I can form no opinion of the merits 
of this production, and will abide by your Synod's. If 
you should publish, publish them all about the same 
time ; it will be at least a collection of opposites. 

You should not publish the new Cantos of Juan 
separately; but let them go in quietly with the first 
reprint of the others, so that they may make little noise, 
as they are not equal to the first. The Pulci, the Dante, 
and the Drama, you are to publish as you like, if at all. 


820. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, August 29".' 1820. 

DEAR MURRAY, I enclose to you for Mr. Hobhouse 
(with liberty to read and translate, or get translated if 
you can it will be nuts for Rose) copies of the letter of 




Cavalier Commendatore G. to his wife's brother at 
Rome, and other documents explaining this business 
which has put us all in hot water here. Remember that 
Guiccioli is telling his own story > true in some things, and 
very false in the details. The Pope has decreed against 
him ; so also have his wife's relations, which is much. No 
man has a right to pretend blindness, after letting a girl 
of twenty travel with another man, and afterwards taking 
that man into his house. You want to know Italy: 
there's more than Lady Morgan can tell me in these 
sheets, if carefully perused. 

The enclosed are authentic : I have seen the originals. 

Yours ever, 

821. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, August 3 I s .', 1820. 

DEAR MURRAY, I have "put my Soul into the 
" tragedy" (as you if it); but you know that there are 
damned souls as well as tragedies. Recollect that it is 
not a political play, though it may look like it ; it is 
strictly historical : read the history and judge. 

Ada's picture is her mother's : I am glad of it the 
mother made a good daughter. Send me Gifford's 
opinion, and never mind the Archbishop. I can neither 
send you away, nor give you a hundred pistoles, nor a 
better taste. I send you a tragedy, and you ask for 
" facetious epistles ; " a little like your predecessor, who 
advised Dr. Prideaux to "put some more humour into 
" his Life of Mahomet." * 

I. Humphrey Prideaux (1648-1724), Dean of Norwich (1702- 
24), published The True Nature of Imposture fully displayed in 
the Life of Mahomet, in 1697, and The Old and New Testament 


The drawings for Juan l are superb : the brush has 
beat the poetry. In the annexed proof of Marino 
Faliero, the half line " The law, my Prince " must be 
stopped thus as the Doge interrupts Bertuccio Faliero. 

Bankes is a wonderful fellow ; there is hardly one of 
my School and College cotemporaries that has not turned 
out more or less celebrated. Peel, Palmerstone, Bankes, 
Hobhouse, Tavistock, Bob Mills, Douglas Kinnaird, etc., 
etc., have all of them talked and been talked of. 

Then there is your Galley Knight, and all that ; but 
I believe that (except Milman perhaps) I am still the 
youngest of the fifteen hundred first of living poets, 
as W *worth is the oldest. Galley Knight is some 
Seasons my Senior : pretty Galley I so" amiable" 1 ! You 
Goose, you such fellows should be flung into Fleet 
Ditch. I would rather be a Galley Slave than a Galley 
Knight so utterly do I despise the middling mounte- 
bank's mediocrity in every thing but his Income. 

We are here going to fight a little, next month, if the 
Huns don't cross the Po, and probably if they do : I 
can't say more now. If anything happens, you have 
matter for a posthumous work, and Moore has my 
memoirs in MSS. ; so pray be civil. Depend upon it, 
there will be savage work, if once they begin here. The 
French courage proceeds from vanity, the German from 
phlegm, the Turkish from fanaticism and opium, the 
Spanish from pride, the English from coolness, the 
Dutch from obstinacy, the Russian from insensibility, 

connected, etc., in 1716-18. Of both books the story is told that the 
bookseller, to whom he offered the MS., wished that he had "put 
" more humour " into the work. 

I . The twenty-one drawings for Don Juan were by R. Westall, 
R.A. They were engraved by C. Heath, and published by the 
Findens (London, 1820), in three forms, and at three prices : 
fcp. 8vo, i los. Off. ; 8vo, 2 zs. od. ; 410,^3 3J. <*/. 

1820.] LADY C. LAMB AT ALMACK'S. 69 

but the Italian from anger ; so you'll see that they will 
spare nothing. 

What you say of Lady Caroline Lamb's " Juan " at 
the Masquerade * don't surprise me : I only wonder that 
she went so far as "the Theatre" for "the Devils" 
having them so much more natural at home ; or if they 
were busy, she might have borrowed the *, her Mother's 
Lady Besborough to wit the * * of the last half 


822. To John Hanson. 

Ravenna, August 31 s ! 1820. 

DEAR SIR, I pray you to make haste with the title 
deeds ; otherwise there will be a half year's interest lost, 
and the funds are falling daily. See what you do by 
your confounded delays. Pray, expedite, dispatch. 

You have never sent me Counsel's opinion on an 
appeal, as promised. I am in favour of the appeal, if it 
shows a glimpse of ultimate success. The deeds you 
sent me in the winter cannot be signed for lack of 
English witnesses. 

With my best remembrances to all your family, 
believe me, 

Yours very truly and affectionately, 


I. The Morning Chronicle for Friday, August I, 1820, describes 
Lady C. Lamb's appearance at a masquerade at Almack's : " Lady 
1 Caroline Lamb appeared, for the first time, in the character of 
'Don Giovanni, but unfortunately there were too many Devils 
' provided for the climax. There seemed to be a whole legion of 
' them, principal and subordinate ; and so little inclined were they 
' ' to do their spiriting gent ly,' that (notwithstanding they had been 
'repeatedly drilled by the Don in private), they appeared deter - 
' mined to carry the whole crowd off to Tartarus by a coup de main.'" 


823. To Thomas Moore. 

Ravenna, August 31, 1820. 

D n your mezzo cammin 1 you should say " the 
" prime of life," a much more consolatory phrase. Besides, 
it is not correct. I was born in 1788, and consequently 
am but thirty-two. You are mistaken on another point. 
The " Sequin Box " 2 never came into requisition, nor is 
it likely to do so. It were better that it had, for then 
a man is not bound, you know. As to reform, I did 
reform what would you have ? " Rebellion lay in his 
" way, and he found it." I verily believe that nor you, 
nor any man of poetical temperament, can avoid a strong 
passion of some kind. It is the poetry of life. What 
should I have known or written, had I been a quiet, 
mercantile politician, or a lord in waiting ? A man must 
travel, and turmoil, or there is no existence. Besides, I 
only meant to be a Cavalier Servente, and had no idea 
it would turn out a romance, in the Anglo fashion. 

However, I suspect I know a thing or two of Italy 
more than Lady Morgan has picked up in her posting. 
What do Englishmen know of Italians beyond their 
museums and saloons and some hack * *, en passant ? 
Now, I have lived in the heart of their houses, in parts 
of Italy freshest and least influenced by strangers, have 
seen and become (pars magna fui) a portion of their 

1. "I had congratulated him upon arriving at what Dante calls 
" the mezzo cammin of life, the age of thirty-three " (Moore). 

" Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita." 

Dante, Inferno, Canto I. stanza 5. 

2. Moore notes, in his Diary for October 9, 1819 (Memoirs, etc., 
vol. Hi. p. 27), "Lord B., Scott says, getting fond of money; he 
" keeps a box, into which he occasionally puts sequins ; he has now 
" collected about 300, and his great delight, Scott tells me, is to 
"open the box and contemplate his store." Probably Moore had 
suggested that at some stage in his relations with Countess Guiccioli 
the " Sequin-Box" might prove useful. 

1 820.] HOBY ON THE QUEEN. 71 

hopes, and fears, and passions, and am almost inoculated 
into a family. This is to see men and things as they 

You say that I called you " quiet " l I don't recollect 
any thing of the sort. On the contrary, you are always 
in scrapes. 

What think you of the Queen ? I hear Mr. Hoby 
says, " that it makes him weep to see her, she reminds 
" him so much of Jane Shore." 

Mr. Hoby the bootmaker's heart is quite sore, 

For seeing the Queen makes him think of Jane Shore ; 

And, in fact, * * 

Pray excuse this ribaldry. What is your poem about? 
Write and tell me all about it and you. 

Yours, etc. 

P.S. Did you write the lively quiz on Peter Bell ? 2 
It has wit enough to be yours, and almost too much to 
be any body else's now going. It was in Galignani the 
other day or week. 

824. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, September 7, 1820. 

DEAR MURRAY, In correcting the proofs you must 
refer to the Manuscript, because there are in it various 
readings. Pray attend to this, and choose what Gifford 
thinks best. Let me know what he thinks of the whole. 

You speak of Lady Noel's illness : she is not of 

1. "I had mistaken the concluding words of his letter of the Qth 
"of June" (Moore). 

2. The Fancy : A Selection from the Poetical Remains of Peter 
Corcoran (1820), was by John Hamilton Reynolds, for whom, 
see Letters, vol. iii. p. 45, note \. 


those who die : the amiable only do ; and those whose 
death would do good live. Whenever she is pleased to 
return, it may be presumed that she will take her " divin- 
"ing rod" x along with her; it may be of use to her at 
home, as well as to the " rich man " of the Evangelists. 

Pray do not let the papers paragraph me back to 
England : they may say what they please any loathsome 
abuse but that. Contradict it. 2 

My last letters will have taught you to expect an 
explosion here : it was primed and loaded, but they 
hesitated to fire the train. One of the Cities shirked 
from the league. I cannot write more at large for a 
thousand reasons. Our "puir kill folk " offered to strike, 
and to raise the first banner. But Bologna paused and 
now 'tis Autumn, and the season half over. " Oh Jerusa- 
" salem, Jerusalem ! " the Huns are on the Po ; but if once 
they pass it on their march to Naples, all Italy will rise 
behind them : the Dogs the Wolves may they perish 
like the Host of Sennacherib ! If you want to publish 
the PropJiecy of Dante, you never will have a better 

Thanks for books but as yet no Monastery of 
Walter Scott's, the ONLY book except Edinburgh and 
Quarterly which I desire to see. Why do you send me 
so much trash upon Italy such tears, etc., which I know 
must be false ? Matthews is good very good : all the 
rest are like Sotheby's " Good" or like Sotheby himself, 

1 . Lady Noel used the divining-rod to discover water. 

2. "We rejoice to learn that Lord Byron yesterday arrived in 
" town from Italy. The noble lord has finished a tragedy, which we 
" should hope will be brought out at Drury Lane theatre, before Mr. 
" Kean's departure for America." Morning Chronicle, August 18, 
1820. " Tell me," writes Mrs. Piozzi from Penzance to Miss 
Willoughby, August 25, 1820, " what wonders Lord Byron is come 
"home to do, for I see his arrival in the paper" (Autobiography, 
f'c., of Mrs. Piozzi, vol. ii. p. 456). 


that old rotten Medlar of Rhyme. The Queen how is 
it ? prospers She ? 

825. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, Septt 8 t! ? 1820. 

DEAR MURRAY, You will please to publish the 
enclosed note x withoiit altering a word, and to inform the 
author, that I will answer personally any offence to him. 
He is a cursed impudent liar, you shall not alter or 
omit a syllable : publish the note at the end of the play, 
and answer this. 


P.S. You sometimes take the liberty of omitting 
what I send for publication : if you do so in this instance, 
I will never speak to you again as long as I breathe. 

826. To Richard Belgrave Hoppner. 

Ravenna, Sept? lo 1 !? 1820. 

MY DEAR HOPPNER, Ecco Advocate Fossati's letter. 
No paper has nor will be signed. Pray draw on me for 
the Napoleons, for I have no mode of remitting them 
otherwise ; Missiaglia would empower some one here to 
receive them for you, as it is not a piazza bancale. 

I regret that you have such a bad opinion of Shiloh ; 2 

1. The note, printed at the end of Marino Faliero, attacks the 
author of Sketches Descriptive of Italy, etc., who had said (vol. iv. 
pp. 159, 160, note}, "I repeatedly declined an introduction" to 
Byron "while in Italy." Byron characterizes the statement as a 
"disingenuous and gratuitously impertinent assertion." He after- 
wards desired Murray to cancel the note, on learning that the author 
was a woman (see p. 84, note i). 

2. " Shiloh " is Shelley, who published The Revolt of Islam in 1818, 
and The Cenci : a Tragedy in Five Acts in 1819. The charges made 


you used to have a good one. Surely he has talent and 
honour, but is crazy against religion and morality. His 
tragedy is sad work; but the subject renders it so. 
His Islam had much poetry. You seem lately to have 
got some notion against him. 

Clare writes me the most insolent letters about 
Allegra ; see what a man gets by taking care of natural 
children ! Were it not for the poor little child's sake, I 
am almost tempted to send her back to her atheistical 
mother, but that would be too bad ; you cannot conceive 

against Shelley in the spring of 1820, which had altered Hoppner's 

good opinion of the poet, were those made by Elise and Paolo Foggi. 

Elise, described by Miss Clairmont as " a very superior Swiss woman 

" of about thirty, a mother herself" (Dowden's Life of Shelley ; vol. 

ii. p. 190, note), had nursed Mrs. Shelley's children, and Allegra, 

whom she accompanied to Venice in 1818. Returning to Shelley's 

service, she married his Italian servant, Paolo Foggi, a rascal who 

was afterwards dismissed for misconduct. In 1820 Foggi, backed 

by his wife, began to revenge himself by accusing Shelley of 

abominable crimes. When Shelley came to stay with Byron at 

Ravenna in August, 1821, he learnt from Byron what some of the 

accusations were. Writing to his wife, August 7, 1821, Shelley tells 

her the story which Mr. and Mrs. Hoppner believed on the authority 

of Elise : " Elise says that Claire was my mistress. . . . She then 

' proceeds to say that Claire was with child by me ; that I gave her 

' the most violent medicine to procure abortion ; that this not 

' succeeding, she was brought to bed, and that I immediately tore 

' the child from her and sent it to the Foundling Hospital. ... In 

' addition, she says that both I and Claire treated you in the most 

' shameful manner ; that I neglected and beat you, and that Claire 

' never let a day pass without offering you insults of the most violent 

'kind, in which she was abetted by me" (ibid., p. 423). Mary 

Shelley's indignant defence of her husband, written to Mrs. Hoppner, 

was sent to Shelley to be copied, and forwarded. (For the letter, see 

ibid., pp. 425-427.) Mrs. Shelley wished that Byron should see it. 

Shelley therefore gave it to Byron, who "engaged to send it with 

"his own comments to the Hoppners." The letter was found 

among Byron's papers at his death. On this fact, together with the 

late Lady Shelley's recollections of Mary Shelley's account of a 

subsequent conversation with the Hoppners, Professor Dowden (ibid., 

p. 429) founds the charge that Byron never sent the letter. It seems, 

however, not impossible that the letter was sent, and, at Byron's 

request, returned. As the answer to a charge closely affecting the 

mother of Allegra, it would be natural that he should wish to keep 

the document. 


the excess of her insolence, and I know not why, for I 
have been at great care and expense, taking a house in 
the country on purpose for her. She has two maids and 
every possible attention. If Clare thinks that she shall 
ever interfere with the child's morals or education, she 
mistakes ; she never shall. The girl shall be a Christian 
and a married woman, if possible. As to seeing her, she 
may see her under proper restrictions ; but she is not 
to throw every thing into confusion with her Bedlam 
behaviour. To express it delicately, I think Madame 
Clare is a damned bitch. What think you ? 

Yours ever and truly, 

827. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, Sept. n, 1820. 

DEAR MURRAY, Here is another historical note for 
you. I want to be as near truth as the Drama can be. 

Last post I sent you a note fierce as Faliero himself, 
in answer to a trashy tourist, who pretends that he could 
have been introduced to me. Let me have a proof of it, 
that I may cut its lava into some shape. 

What Gifford says is very consolatory (of the first 
act). " English, sterling genuine English" is a desidera- 
tum amongst you, and I am glad that I have got so 
much left ; though heaven knows how I retain it : I hear 
none but from my Valet, and his is Nottinghamshire : 
and I see none but in your new publications, and theirs 
is no language at all, but jargon. Even your " New 
" Jerusalem " is terribly stilted and affected, with " very, 
" very " so soft and pamby. 

Oh ! if ever I do come amongst you again, I will 
give you such a Baviad and Mczviad ! not as good as 


the old, but even better merited. There never was such 
a Set as your ragamitffins (I mean not yours only, but 
every body's). What with the Cockneys, and the Lakers, 
and the followers of Scott, and Moore, and Byron, you 
are in the very uttermost decline and degradation of 
literature. I can't think of it without all the remorse of 
a murderer. I wish that Johnson were alive again to 
crush them ! 

I have as yet only had the first and second acts, and 
no opinion upon the second. 

828. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, Sept. 14, 1820. 

What ? not a line. Well, have it your own way. 

I wish you would inform Perry, that his stupid para- 
graph is the cause of all my newspapers being stopped 
in Paris. The fools believe me in your infernal country, 
and have not sent on their Gazettes, so that I know 
nothing of your beastly trial of the Queen. 

I cannot avail myself of Mr. Gifford's remarks, 
because I have received none, except on the first act. 


P.S. Do, pray, beg the Editors of papers to say 
anything blackguard they please; but not to put me 
amongst their arrivals : they do me more mischief by 
such nonsense than all their abuse can do. 

829. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, Sept. 21, 1820. 

So you are at your old tricks again. This is the 
second packet I have received unaccompanied by a 


single line of good, bad, or indifferent. It is strange 
that you have never forwarded any further observations 
of GirTord's : how am I to alter or amend, if I hear no 
further ? or does this silence mean that it is well enough 
as it is, or too bad to be repaired ? If the last, why do 
you not say so at once, instead of playing pretty, since 
you know that soon or late you must out with the truth. 


P.S. My Sister tells me that you sent to her to 
enquire where I was, believing in my arrival " driving a 
11 curricle" etc., etc., into palace yard : do you think me a 
coxcomb or a madman, to be capable of such an exhibi- 
tion? My Sister knew me better, and told you that 
could not be true : you might as well have thought me 
entering on " a pale horse," like Death in the Revela- 

830. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, Sept. 23, 1820. 

DEAR MURRAY, Get from Mr. Hobhouse, and send 
me a proof (with the Latin) of my Hints from H., etc. : 
it has now the " nonum prematur in annum " complete for 
its production, being written at Athens in iBn. I 
have a notion that, with some omissions of names and 
passages, it will do ; and I could put my late observations 
for Pope among the notes, with the date of 1820, and so 
on. As far as versification goes, it is good; and, on 
looking back to what I wrote about that period, I am 
astonished to see how little I have trained on. I wrote 
better then than now ; but that comes from my having 
fallen into the atrocious bad state of the times partly. 


It has been kept too, nine years ; nobody keeps their 
piece nine years now-a-days, except Douglas K. ; he 
kept his nine years and then restored her to the public. 
If I can trim it for present publication, what with the 
other things you have of mine, you will have a volume or 
two of variety at least: for there will be all measures, 
styles, and topics, whether good or no. I am anxious to 
hear what Gifford thinks of the tragedy; pray let me 
know. I really do not know what to think myself. 

If the Germans pass the Po, they will be treated to a 
Mass out of the Cardinal de Retz's Breviary}- Galley 

I. Jean Fra^ois Paul de Gondi, Cardinal de Retz (1614-1679), 
as Archbishop of Paris, was one of the leaders of the Fronde (1649- 
52), and received his cardinal's hat from Anne of Austria. After the 
collapse of the insurrection, he was imprisoned at Nantes. Escaping 
from prison, he lived in exile, and only returned when he had been 
deprived of his archbishopric. He was, however, given, in com- 
pensation for the loss of his see, the Abbey of St. Denis, where he 
died in 1679. During the latter part of his turbulent life he lived 
in retirement at Commercy and other places, absorbed in writing his 
Mhnoires and paying his debts. Madame de Sevigne called him 
'le heros du Breviaire," as contrasted with Turenne, "le heros de 
' 1'epee." Writing to Madame de Grignan, August 21, 1675 (Lettres, 
ed. 1818, tome iii. p. 416), she says, " Vous parlez si dignement du 
' Cardinal de Retz et de sa retraite, que, pour cela seul, vous seriez 
' digne de son estime et de son amitie. . . . Ce que vous dites de 
'M. Turenne merite d'entrer dans son panegyrique . . . Depuis 
'la mort du heros de la guerre, celui du breviaire s'est retire a 
1 Commerci." 

Byron probably means that, if the Austrians crossed the Po, they 
would be met by a popular insurrection and the dagger. The 
Cardinal, in his Memoires (ed. Geneva, 1777, torn. ii. p. 122), thus 
explains the origin of the allusion : ' ' Tout le monde etoit dans la 
' defiance, et je puis dire sans exageration, que sans meme excepter 
' les conseillers, il n'y avoit pas vingt hommes dans le palais qui 
'ne fussent armes de poignards. Pour moi je n'en avois point 
' voulu porter ; M. de Brissac m'en fit prendre un par force, un jour 
'ou il paroissoit qu'on pourroit s'echauffer plus qu'a 1'ordinaire. 
' De telles armes, qui me convenoient peu, me causerent un chagrin 
' qui me fut des plus sensibles. M. de Beaufort, qui etoit un peu 
'lourd et etourdi de son naturel, voyant la garde du stilet dont 
' le bout paroissoit un peu hors de ma poche, le montra a Arnaud, a 
' la Moussaye et a des Roches, Capitaine des gardes de M. le prince, 
' en leur disant : Voila le breviare de M. le Coadjuteur ; j'entendis 
' la raillerie, mais a dire vrai, je ne la soutins pas de bon coeur." 


Knight's a fool, and could not understand this Frere 
will : it is as pretty a conceit as you would wish to see 
upon a Summer's day. 

Nobody here believes a word of the evidence against 
the Queen : the very mob cry shame against their 
countrymen, and say, that for half the money spent upon 
the trial, any testimony whatever may be brought out of 
Italy. 1 This you may rely upon as fact : I told you as 
much before. As to what travellers report, what are 
travellers? Now I have lived among the Italians not 
Florenced, and Romed, and Galleried, and Conversationed 
it for a few months, and then home again but been of 
their families, and friendships, and feuds, and loves, and 
councils, and correspondence, in a part of Italy least 
known to foreigners; and have been amongst them of 
all classes, from the Conte to the Contadino; and you 
may be sure of what I say to you. 


I. Among the Italian witnesses, collected by the "Milan Com- 
" mission," and examined for the Bill against the queen, were 
Teodoro Majocchi, a livery servant of the princess ; Gaetano 
Paturzo, a Neapolitan sailor ; Vincenzo Gargiulo, a sailor of 
Messina ; Francesco Birollo, a Piedmontese cook ; Pietro Cuchi, 
agent of the Albergo Grande at Trieste ; Giuseppe Bianchi, door- 
porter of the Grande Bretagne at Venice ; Paolo Kaggazoni, a 
mason employed at the Villa d'Este ; Paolo Oggioni, an under- 
cook ; Girolamo Mejani, employed at the Villa d'Este as head- 
gardener ; Luigi Galdini, Alessandro Finetti, Domenico Brusa, 
Giovanni Lucini, workmen employed at the Villa d'Este ; Carlo 
Rancatti and Giuseppe Restelli, respectively confectioner and groom 
in the princess's service ; Giuseppe Sacchi, a courier. 

Other witnesses for the Bill were Barbara Kress (or Krantz), 
chambermaid of the post inn at Carlsruhe, and Louise Demont, a 
Swiss maid in the service of the princess. 

The only English witnesses examined for the Bill were Captain 
Pechell, R.N., who commanded the Clorinde> which conveyed the 
princess from Civita Vecchia to Genoa, and Captain Briggs, R.N., 
of the Leviathan. Neither witness gave any evidence directly in 
support of the case against the queen. 


831. To John Murray. 

Sept' 28"? 1820. 

MR. J. MURRAY, Can you keep a Secret? not you : 

you would rather keep a w e, I believe, of the two, 

although a moral man and "all that, Egad," as Bayes 

However, I request and recommend to you to keep 
the enclosed one, 1 viz. to give no copies^ to permit no 
publication else you and I will be two. It was written 
nearly three years ago upon the doublefaced fellow : its 
argument in consequence of a letter exposing some of 
his usual practices. You may show it to Gifford, 
Hobhouse, D. Kinnaird, and any two or three of your 
own Admiralty favourites; but don't betray // or me; 
else you are the worst of men. 

Is it like ? if not, it has no merit. Does he deserve 
it? if not, burn it. He wrote to M. (so M. says) the 
other day, saying on some occasion, " what a fortunate 
" fellow you are ! surely you were born with a rose in 
" your lips, and a Nightingale singing on the bed-top." 2 
M. sent me this extract as an instance of the old Serpent's 
sentimental twaddle. I replied, that I believed that 
"he (the twaddler) was born with a Nettle in his *, 
" and a Carrion Crow croaking on the bolster," a parody 
somewhat wwdelicate; but such trash puts one stupid, 
besides the Cant of it in a fellow who hates every body. 

Is this good ? tell me, and I will send you one still 
better of that blackguard Brougham ; there is a batch of 

1. The lines enclosed were those on Rogers 

"Nose and chin would shame a knocker," etc., etc., 
first published in Fraser's Magazine for January, 1833, p. 82. See 
Letters, vol. iv. p. 202, note 4. 

2. Moore, in his Diary for August 6, 1820, has noted this sentence 
(Memoirs, etc., etc., vol. iii. p. 136). 

1820.] EQUAL TO MANFRED. 8 1 

832. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, Sept. 28, 1820. 

D? MY, I thought that I had told you long ago, 
that it never was intended nor written with any view to 
the Stage. 1 I have said so in the preface too. It is too 
long and too regular for your stage. The persons 
too few, and the unity too much observed. It is more 
like a play of Alfieri's than of your stage (I say this 
humbly in speaking of that great Man); but there is 
poetry, and it is equal to Manfred, though I know not 
what esteem is held of Manfred. 

I have now been nearly as long out of England as I 
was there during the time when I saw you frequently. 
I came home July i4th, 1811, and left again April 25th, 
1816 : so that Sept- 28th, 1820, brings me within a very 
few months of the same duration of time of my stay and 
my absence. In course, I can know nothing of the 
public taste and feelings, but from what I glean from 
letters, etc. Both seem to be as bad as possible. 

I thought Anastasius excellent: did I not say so? 
Matthews's Diary 2 most excellent : it, and Forsyth, 3 and 
parts of Hobhouse, are all we have of truth or sense upon 
Italy. The letter to Julia 4 very good indeed. I do not 

1. Mrs. Piozzi heard at Penzance of Byron's forthcoming play. 
Writing to Dr. Gray, September I, 1820, she says, " Lord Byron 
" is said to be bringing out a tragedy ; unlucky, if Mr. Kean is 
"leaving England for America. They seem to be kindred souls, 
"delighting in distortion, and mistaking it for pathos" (Autobio- 
graphy, Letters, etc., of Mrs. Piozzi, vol. ii. p. 275). 

2. The Diary of an Invalid, by Henry Matthews, brother of 
Byron's friend, C. S. Matthews. A second edition was published 
in 1820. 

3. Remarks on Antiquities, Arts, and Letters, during an excursion 
in Italy, in the years 1802 and 1803, by Joseph Forsyth, was pub- 
lished in 1813. 

4. Henry Luttrell (17657-1851), a natural son of the second 
Lord Carhampton, and always a poor man, made himself a remark- 
able position m society by his brilliant wit. " Mr. Luttrell," wrote 

VOL. V. G 


despise Mrs. Heman; but if she knit blue stockings 
instead of wearing them, it would be better. You are 
taken in by that false stilted trashy style, which is a 
mixture of all the styles of the day, which are all bom- 
bastic (I don't except my own no one has done more 
through negligence to corrupt the language); but it is 
neither English nor poetry. Time will show. 

I am sorry Gifford has made no further remarks 
beyond the first act : does he think all the English 
equally sterling, as he thought the first ? You did right 
to send the proofs : I was a fool ; but I do really detest 
the sight of proofs : it is an absurdity, but comes from 

You can steal the two Juans into the world quietly, 
tagged to the others. The play as you will the Dante 

Lady Granville {Letters, vol. i. p. 26), in October, 1811, "I like 
" better every hour. He has that don du del of never being de trap, 
" and I never met with so independent a person." "It is hardly 
"possible," says Greville (Memoirs, vol. i. p. 9), "to live with a 
"more agreeable man than Luttrell." Both, however, thought 
that, in general society, he reserved himself for epigrammatic say- 
ings, and did not shine in unlaboured talk (see also Greville 
Memoirs, vol. jvi. pp. 433, 434). His Advice to Julia, a Letter in 
Rhyme, appeared in 1820. Of his Crockford House, and A Rhymer 
in Rome (1826), a brother-wit, Joseph Jekyll (Letters, p. 171), says, 
" My friend Luttrell, who is too good-natured for a satirist, has 
"published a poem on the modern Greeks of Crockford's gambling 
"club, and another on the modern Romans, // e'er it les vers de 
" socittt assez joliment ; but neither of these is so good as his Letters 
" to Julia." 

"Of course," said Byron to Lady Blessington (Conversations, 
p. I2l), "you know Luttrell. He is a most agreeable member of 
"society, the best sayer of good things, and the most epigrammatic 
"conversationist I ever met ; there is a terseness, and wit, mingled 
"with fancy, in his observations, that no one else possesses, and no 
" one so peculiarly understands the apropos. His Advice to Julia is 
"pointed, witty, and full of observation, showing in every line a 
"knowledge of society, and a tact rarely met with. Then, unlike 
"all, or most other wits, Luttrell is never obtrusive, even the 
" choicest bans mots are only brought forth when perfectly applic- 
" able, and then are given in a tone of good breeding which enhances 
"their value." 


too ; but the Puld I am proud of : it is superb ; you 
have no such translation. It is the best thing I ever did 
in my life. I wrote the play, from beginning to end, 
and not a single scene without interruption, and being 
obliged to break off in the middle ; for I had my hands 
full, and my head, too, just then ; so it can be no great 
shakes I mean the play, and the head too, if you like. 


P.S. Send me proofs of " the Hints : " get them from 

P.S. Politics here still savage and uncertain: how- 
ever, we are all in our " bandaliers," to join the " High- 
" landers if they cross the Forth," i.e. to crush the Austrians 
if they pass the Po. The rascals ! and that Dog Liver- 
pool, to say their subjects were happy ! what a liar ! If 
ever I come back, I'll work some of these ministers. 


You ask for a " Volume of Nonsense " 
Have all of your authors exhausted their store ? 
I thought you had published a good deal not long since 

And doubtless the Squadron are ready with more. 
But on looking again, I perceive that the Species 
Of " Nonsense " you want must be purely "facetious ; " 
And, as that is the case, you had best put to press 
Mr. Sotheby's tragedies now in M.S.S. 
Some Syrian Sally 
From common-place Gaily, 
Or, if you prefer the bookmaking of women, 
Take a spick and Span "Sketch" of your feminine He-Man. 


I. This note is scribbled on the back of the preceding. 


Why do you ask me for opinions of your ragamuffins ? 
You see what you get by it ; but recollect, I never give 
opinions till required. 

Sept. 29* 

I open my letter to say, that on reading more of the 
4 volumes on Italy, 1 where the Author says " declined an 
"introduction," I perceive (horresco referens) that it is 
written by a WOMAN ! ! ! In that case you must sup- 
press my note and answer, and all I have said about the 
book and the writer. I never dreamed of it till now, in 
my extreme wrath at that precious note. I can only say 
that I am sorry that a Lady should say anything of the 
kind. What I would have said to [one of the other 
sex] you know already. Her book too (as a She book) 
is not a bad one ; but she evidently don't know the 
Italians, or rather don't like them, and forgets the causes 
of their misery and profligacy (Matthews and Forsyth 
are your men for truth and tact), and has gone over 
Italy in company always a bad plan. You must be 
alone with people to know them well. Ask her, who was 
the "descendant of Lady M. W. Montague" and by 
whom ? By Algarotti ? 

I suspect that, in Marino Faliero, you and yours 
won't like the politics ; which are perilous to you in these 
times ; but recollect that it is not a political play, and 
that I was obliged to put into the mouths of the Cha- 
racters the sentiments upon which they acted. I hate 
all things written like Pizarro? to represent France, 

1. Sketches descriptive of Italy, in the Years 1816, 1817, with a 
brief Account of Travels in various Parts of France and Switzerland^ 
by Miss Jane Waldie (afterwards Mrs. Watts), 4 vols. 1820. 

2. Sheridan's Pizarro was produced at Drury Lane, May 24, 
1 799. The scene is laid in Peru ; but the motive of the play, which 
is founded on Kotzebue's Spaniards in Peru, is the prospect of a 
French invasion of England. 

1820.] WILD JUSTICE. 85 

England, and so forth : all I have done is meant to be 
purely Venetian, even to the very prophecy of its present 

Your Angles in general know little of the Italians, 
who detest them for their numbers and their GENOA 
treachery. Besides, the English travellers have not been 
composed of the best Company : how could they ? out 
of ioo,ooo ; how many gentlemen were there, or honest 

Mitchell's Aristophaftes is excellent : send me the rest 
of it. 1 

I think very small beer of Mr. Goliffe, and his dull 
book. Here and there some good things though, which 
might have been better. 

These fools will force me to write a book about Italy 
myself, to give them " the loud lie." They prate about 
assassination : what is it but the origin of duelling and 
" a wild Justice? as Lord Bacon calls it ? 2 It is the 
fount of the modern point of honour, in what the laws 
can't or won't reach. Every man is liable to it more or 
less, according to circumstances or place. For instance, 
I am living here exposed to it daily, for I have happened 
to make a powerful and unprincipled man my enemy ; 
and I never sleep the worse for it, or ride in less solitary 
places, because precaution is useless, and one thinks of 
it as of a disease which may or may not strike. It is 

1. Thomas Mitchell (1783-1845) published the first volume of his 
translation of The Comedies of Aristophanes in 1820 ; the second 
volume appeared in 1822. Frere's review of vol. i. in the Quarterly 
Review (vol. xxiii. pp. 474-505) is published in his Works, vol. ii. 
pp. 178-214). Mitchell dined with Hunt at Horsemonger Gaol, in 
company with Byron and Moore, in June, 1813. "Poor Lord 

'Byron ! " he wrote to Murray, in 1824 (Memoir of John Murray, 
vol. i. p. 449). "No person's death has ever yet had the effect 
"upon me which his had." 

2. " Revenge is a kind of wild justice." Bacon's Essays, Essay 
iv. "Of Revenge." 


true that there are those here, who, if he did, would 
"live to think on't;" but that would not awake my 
bones : I should be sorry if it would, were they once at 

833. To Richard Belgrave Hoppner. 

Ravenna, 8 bre - i- 1820. 

MY DEAR HOPPNER, Your letters and papers came 
very safely, though slowly, missing one post. 

The Shiloh story is true no doubt, though Elise is but 
a sort of Queen's evidence. You remember how eager 
she was to return to them, and then she goes away and 
abuses them. Of the facts, however, there can be little 
doubt; it is just like them. You may be sure that I 
keep your counsel. 

I have not remitted the 30 Napoleons (or what was 
it?), till I hear that Missiaglia has received his safely, 
when I shall do so by the like channel. 

What you say of the Queen's affair is very just and 
true ; but the event seems not very easy to anticipate. 

I enclose an epistle from Shiloh. 1 

Yours ever and truly, 


834. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, 8bre 6, 1820. 

DEAR MY, You will have now received all the acts, 
corrected, of the M\anno\ F\alierd\. What you say of the 
"Bet of 100 guineas," made by some one who says that 
he saw me last week, reminds me of what happened in 
1810. You can easily ascertain the fact, and it is an 
odd one. 

I. Probably the letter from Shelley printed in Appendix I. 


In the latter end of 1811, I met one evening at the 
Alfred my old School and form-fellow, (for we were 
within two of each other he the higher, though both 
very near the top of our remove,) Peel, the Irish Secre- 
tary. He told me that, in 1810, he met me, as he 
thought, in St. James's Street, but we passed without 
speaking. He mentioned this, and it was denied as 
impossible, I being then in Turkey. A day or two after, 
he pointed out to his brother a person on the opposite 
side of the way ; " there," said he, " is the man whom 
" I took for Byron : " his brother instantly answered, 
" why, it is Byron, and no one else." But this is not 
all : I was seen by somebody to write down my name 
amongst the Enquirers after the King's health, then 
attacked by insanity. Now, at this very period, as nearly 
as I could make out, I was ill of a strong fever at Patras, 
caught in the marshes near Olympia, from the Malaria. 
If I had died there, this would have been a new Ghost 
Story for you. You can easily make out the accuracy of 
this from Peel himself, who told it in detail. I suppose 
you will be of the opinion of Lucretius, 1 who (denies the 
immortality of the Soul, but) asserts that from the " flying 
" off of the Surfaces of bodies perpetually, these surfaces 
" or cases, like the Coats of an onion, are sometimes 
" seen entire when they are separated from it, so that the 
" shapes and shadows of both the dead and absent are 
" frequently beheld." 

I. "Quse, quasi membranae summo de corpore rerum 
Dereptse, volitant ultro, citroque, per auras : 
Atque eadem, nobis vigilantibus obvia, mentes 
Terrificant, atque in somnis, quum saepe figuras 
Contuimur miras, simulacraque luce carentum, 
Quse nos horrifice languentes saepe sopore 
Excierunt : ne forte animas Acheronte reamur 
Effugere, aut umbras inter vivos volitare," etc. 

Lucretius, De Rerum A r atun1, lib. iv. 35, seqq. 


But if they are, are their coats and waistcoats also 
seen ? I do not disbelieve that we may be two by some 
unconscious process, to a certain sign ; but which of these 
two I happen at present to be, I leave you to decide. I 
only hope that father me behaves like a Gemman. 

I wish you would get Peel asked how far I am 
accurate in my recollection of what he told me ; for I 
don't like to say such things without authority. 

I am not sure that I was not spoken with ; but this 
also you can ascertain. I have written to you such lots 
that I stop. 


P.S. Send me the proofs of the " Hints from ff., etc" 
P.S. Last year (in June, 1819), I met at Count 
Mosti's, at Ferrara, an Italian who asked me " if I knew 
" Lord Byron ? " I told him no (no one knows himself, 
you know) : " then," says he, "I do ; I met him at 
"Naples the other day." I pulled out my card and 
asked him if that was the way he spelt his name : and he 
answered, yes. I suspect that it was a blackguard Navy 
Surgeon, named Bury or Berry, who attended a young 
travelling Madman about, named Graham, and passed 
himself for a Lord at the Posthouses : he was a vulgar 
dog quite of the Cockpit order and a precious repre- 
sentative I must have had of him, if it was even so ; but 
I don't know. He passed himself off as' a Gentleman, 
and squired about a Countess Zinnani (of this place), 
then at Venice, an ugly battered woman, of bad morals 
even for Italy. 


835. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, 8bre 8, 1820. 

DEAR MORAY, Foscolo's letter is exactly the thing 
wanted; ist, because he is a man of Genius; and, next, 
because he is an Italian, and therefore the best Judge of 
Italics. Besides, 

" He's more an antique Roman than a Dane ; " * 

that is, he has more of the antient Greek than of the 
modern Italian. Though, "somewhat," as Dugald 
Dalgetty says, " too wild and salvage " (like " Ronald of 
"the Mist"), 2 'tis a wonderful man; and my friends 
Hobhouse and Rose both swear by him and they are 
good Judges of men and of Italian humanity. 

" Here are in all two worthy voices gained." 3 

Gifford says it is good " sterling genuine English," and 
Foscolo says that the characters are right Venetian. 
Shakespeare and Otway had a million of advantages 
over me, besides the incalculable one of being dead from 
one to two centuries, and having been both born black- 
guards (which ARE such attractions to the Gentle living 
reader) : let me then preserve the only one which I 
could possibly have that of having been at Venice, and 
entered more into the local Spirit of it. I claim no 

I know what F. means about Calendaro's spitting 
at Bertram : 4 that 's national the objection, I mean. 

1. " Horatio. Never believe it : 

I am more an antique Roman than a Dane." 

Hamlet, act v. sc. 2. 

2. Legend of Montrose, chap. xiii. 

3. " Coriolanus. A match, sir. There is in all two worthy 
"voices begged ; I have your alms : adieu." Coriolanus, act ii. sc. 3. 

4. " Calendaro (spitting at him). I die and scorn thee!"- 
Marino Faliero, act v. sc. I. 


The Italians and French, with those " flags of Abomina- 
" tion," their pocket handkerchiefs, spit there, and here, 
and every where else in your face almost, and therefore 
object to it on the Stage as too familiar. But we who 
spit nowhere but in a man's face when we grow savage 
are not likely to feel this. Remember Massinger, and 
Kean's Sir Giles Overreach 

" Lord ! thus I spit at thee and thy Counsel ! " * 

Besides, Calendaro does not spit in Bertram's face : he 
spits at him, as I have seen the Mussulmans do upon the 
ground when they are in a rage. Again, he does not in 
fact despise Bertram, though he affects it as we all do, 
when angry with one we think our inferior : he is angry 
at not being allowed to die in his own way (although not 
afraid of death); and recollect, that he suspected and 
hated Bertram from the first. Israel Bertuccio, on the 
other hand, is a cooler and more concentrated fellow : 
he acts upon principle and impulse; Calendaro upon 
impulse and example. 

So there's argument for you. 

The Doge repeats ; true, but it is from engrossing 
passion, and because he sees different persons, and is 
always obliged to recur to the cause uppermost in his 
mind. His speeches are long; true, but I wrote for 
the Closet^ and on the French and Italian model rather 
than yours, which I think not very highly of, for all your 
old dramatists, who are long enough too, God knows : 
look into any of them. 

I wish you, too, to recollect one thing which is 
nothing to the reader. I never wrote nor copied an 
entire Scene of that play , without being obliged to break oft 

I. "Sir Giles Overreach " says to " Lord Lovel," in A New Way 
to pay Old Debts, act v. sc. I, " Lord ! thus I spit at thee, and at thy 
" counsel." 


to break a commandment, to obey a woman's, and to 
forget God's. Remember the drain of this upon a man's 
heart and brain, to say nothing of his immortal soul. 
Fact, I assure you. The Lady always apologized for the 
interruption ; but you know the answer a man must make 
when and while he can. It happened to be the only 
hour I had in the four and twenty for composition, or 
reading, and I was obliged to divide even it. Such are 
the denned duties of a Cavalier* Servente or Cavalier' 

I return you F[oscolo]'s letter, because it alludes also 
to his private affairs. I am sorry to see such a man in 
straits, because I know what they are, or what they were. 
I never met but three men who would have held out a 
finger to me : one was yourself, the other W Bankes, 
and the third a Nobleman long ago dead. But of these the 
first was the only one who offered it while I really wanted 
it; the second from good will but I was not in need of 
Bankes' s aid, and would not have accepted it if I had 
(though I love and esteem him) ; and the third x 

So you see that I have seen some strange things in 
my time. As for your own offer, it was in 1815, when I 
was in actual uncertainty of five pounds. I rejected it ; 
but I have not forgotten it, although you probably 

You are to publish when and how you please ; but I 
thought you and Mr. Hobhouse had decided not to print 
the whole of " Blackwood" as being partly unproducible : 
do as ye please after consulting Hobhouse about it. 

P.S. Foscolo's Ricdarda was lent, with the leaves 
uncut, to some Italians now in Villeggiatura, so that I 

I. The paragraph is left thus imperfect in the original, Byron 
having carefully erased three lines of writing. 


have had no opportunity of hearing their opinion, or of 
reading it. They seized on it as Foscolo's, and on 
account of the beauty of the paper and printing, directly. 
If I find it takes, I will reprint it here. The Italians 
think as highly of Foscolo as they can of any man, 
divided and miserable as they are, and with neither 
leisure at present to read, nor head nor heart to judge of 
anything but extracts from French newspapers and the 
Lugano Gazette. 

We are all looking at one another, like wolves on 
their prey in pursuit, only waiting for the first faller on, 
to do unutterable things. They are a great world in 
Chaos, or Angels in Hell, which you please ; but out of 
Chaos came Paradise, and out of hell I don't know 
what ; but the Devil went in there, and he was a fine 
fellow once, you know. 

You need never favour me with any periodical pub- 
lications, excepting the Edinburgh, Quarterly, and an 
occasional Blackwood, or now and then a Monthly 
Review ; for the rest I do not feel curiosity enough to 
look beyond their covers. 

To be sure I took in the British Roberts finely ; he 
fell precisely into the glaring trap laid for him : it was 
inconceivable how he could be so absurd as to think us 
serious with him. 

Recollect, that if you put my name to Don yuan in 
these canting days, any lawyer might oppose my Guardian 
right of my daughter in Chancery, on the plea of its 
containing the parody ; such are the perils of a foolish 
jest. I was not aware of this at the time, but you will 
find it correct, I believe ; and you may be sure that the 
Noels would not let it slip. Now I prefer my child to 
a poem at any time, and so should you, as having half 
a dozen. Let me know your notions. 


If you turn over the earlier pages of the Huntingdon] l 
peerage story, you will see how common a name Ada 
was in the early Plantagenet days. I found it in my 
own pedigree in the reign of John and Henry, and gave 
it to my daughter. It was also the name of Charlemagne's 
sister. It is in an early chapter of Genesis, as the name 
of the wife of Lameth (sic) : and I suppose Ada is the 
feminine of Adam. It is short, ancient, vocalic, and 
had been in my family ; for which reason I gave it to 
my daughter. 

836. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, 8bre 12, 1820. 

D? MURRAY, By land and Sea Carriage a consider- 
able quantity of books have arrived ; and I am obliged 
and grateful. But Media de fonte leporum surgit amari 
aliqTiid, etc., etc. ; which, being interpreted, means, 

I'm thankful for your books, dear Murray ; 
But why not send Scott's Monastery ? 

the only book in four living volumes I would give a 
baiocco to see abating the rest by the same author, 
and an occasional Edinburgh and Quarterly, as brief 
Chroniclers of the times. Instead of this, here are 
Johnny Keats's p ss a bed poetry, 2 and three novels by 
God knows whom, except that there is Peg Holford's 
name 3 to one of them a Spinster whom I thought we 

1. Henry Nugent Bell published his Huntingdon Peerage in 1820 
an account of the family, and of the revival of the title in Hans 
Francis Hastings, eleventh Earl of Huntingdon. Two ancestresses 
(p. 4) of the name of Ada are mentioned in the thirteenth century. 

2. John Keats published Poems (1817), Endymion (1818), and in 
1820 Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes, and other Poems. 

3. Miss Margaret Holford (1778-1852) published, in 1820, War- 
beck of Wolfenstein. 


had sent back to her spinning. Crayon 1 is very good ; 
Hogg's Tales rough, 2 but RACY, and welcome. 

Lord Huntingdon's blackguard portrait may serve 
for a sign to his " Ashby de la Zouche " Alehouse : 3 is it 
to such a drunken, half-pay looking raff that the Chival- 
rous Moira is to yield a portion of his titles ? into what 
a puddle has stagnated the noble blood of the Hastings' ? 
And the bog-trotting barrister's advertisement of himself 
and causes ! ! Upon my word, the house and the courts 
have made a pair of precious acquisitions ? I have 
seen worse peers than this fellow, but then they were 
made, not begotten (these Lords are opposites to the Lord 
in all respects) ; but, however stupid, however idle and 
profligate, all the peers by inheritance had something of 
the gentleman look about them : only the lawyers and 
the bankers "promoted into Silver fish" looked like 
ragamuffins till this new foundling came amongst them. 

Books of travels are expensive, and I don't want 
them, having travelled already ; besides, they lie. Thank 
the Author of the Profligate f a comedy, for his (or her) 
present. Pray send me no more poetry but what is rare 
and decidedly good. There is such a trash of Keats and 
the like upon my tables, that I am ashamed to look at 
them. I say nothing against your parsons, your Smedleys 5 

1. Washington Irving published, in 1820, under the nom de plume 
of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent 1 . 1 , vol. i. of The Sketch-Book. Later in the 
same year Murray brought out the book in two volumes, vol. i. 
being a second edition, and vol. ii. a new volume. 

2. Probably Hogg's Winter Evening Tales (1820). For James 
Hogg, see Lettei-s, vol. iii. p. 115, note I. 

3. The Huntingdon Arms, at Ashby-de-la-Zouche, was within a 
few paces of the Castle {Huntingdon Peerage, Investigation of the 
Claim, p. 263). 

4. The Profligate, a Comedy (1820, 410) was by George Watson, 
afterwards Taylor, the author of England Preserved, an Historical 
Play (in verse), 1795, and Equanimity in Death (a poem), 1813. 

5. The Rev. Edward Smedley (1788-1836), editor from 1822 of 
the Encyclopedia Metropolitana, was a voluminous writer of prose 


and your Crolys : 1 it is all very fine ; but pray dispense me 
from the pleasure, as also from Mrs. Hemans. Instead 
of poetry if you will favour me with a few Soda powders, 
I shall be delighted; but all prose (bating travels and 
novels NOT by Scott) is welcome, especially Scott's tales 
of my Landlord^ and so on. 

In the notes to Marino Faliero, it may be as well to 
say that " Benintende" was not really of the ten, but 
merely Grand Chancellor, a separate office (although 
important) : it was an arbitrary alteration of mine. The 
Doges too were all buried in St. Mark's before Faliero : 
it is singular that when his immediate predecessor, Andrea 
Dandolo, died, the ten made a law that all the future 
doges should be buried with their families, in their own 
chtirches, one would think by a kind of presentiment. So 
that all that is said of his Ancestral Doges, as buried at 
Saint John's and Paul's, is altered from the fact, they 
being in Saint Mark's. Make a Note of this, and put 
Editor as the subscription to it. 

As I make such pretensions to accuracy, I should not 

and poetry. He had recently published two volumes of verse, 
Religio Clerici, a Churchman's Epistle (1818), and A Churchman's 
Second Epistle (1819). The poem was published anonymously. 

In a letter to Byron, dated March 9 (1819), Lord Holland says, 
' The poem of Religio Clerici, falsely said to be Crabbe's, is the 
' work of a Mr. Smedley. The despair produced by Methodists 
' on a dying man, and the picture of the parish priest walking to 
' church, are like Crabbe ; but everything else is much inferior, and 
' the principles are so narrow and intolerant that one would have 
' been sorry to have found that such a man as Crabbe was capable 
'either of holding or assuming them." 

I. The Rev. George Croly (1780-1860) wrote largely for Black- 
woo(fs Magazine and the Literary Gazette, besides publishing poems, 
two novels (Salathiel, 1829, and Marston, 1846), theological works, 
a play, and the Life and Times of George the Fourth (1830). In his 
chief poems he imitated Byron ; Childe Harold is the model of Paris 
in 1815 (1817), and Don Juan of The Modern Orlando (1846). 
Byron preferred Croly's vigour to the feebleness of many of his con- 
temporaries ; and Croly seems, according to Byron, to have held a 
still higher opinion of his own merits (see p. 117)- 


like to be twitted even with such trifles on that score. 
Of the play they may say what they please, but not so 
of my costume and dram, pers., they having been real 

I omitted Foscolo in my list of living Venetian 
-worthies, in the Notes, considering him as an Italian in 
general, and not a mere provincial like the rest ; and as 
an Italian I have spoken of him in the preface to Canto 
4th of Childe Harold. 

The French translation of us ! ! ! Oime ! Oime I 
and the German ; but I don't understand the latter nor 
his long dissertation at the end about the Fausts. 
Excuse haste. Of politics it is not safe to speak, but 
nothing is decided as yet. 

I should recommend your not publishing the prose: 
it is too late for the letter to Roberts, and that to Black- 
wood is too egoistical; and Hobhouse don't like it 
except the part about Pope, which is truth and very good. 

I am in a very fierce humour at not having Scott's 
Monastery. 1 You are too liberal in quantity, and some- 
what careless of the quality, of your missives. All the 
Quarterlies (4 in number) I had had before from you, 
and two of the Edinburghs ; but no matter; we shall 
have new ones by and bye. No more Keats, I entreat : 
flay him alive ; if some of you don't, I must skin him 
myself: there is no bearing the drivelling idiotism of the 

I don't feel inclined to care further about Don Juan. 
What do you think a very pretty Italian lady said to me 
the other day ? She had read it in the French, and paid 
me some compliments, with due DRAWBACKS, upon 
it. I answered that what she said was true, but that I 

I. Ivanhoe, The Monastery, and The Abbot were all published 
in 1820. 




suspected it would live longer than Childe Harold. " Ah 
" but (said She) / would rather have the fame of Childe 
" Harold for THREE YEARS than an IMMORTALITY of Don 
"Juan!" The truth is that if is TOO TRUE, and the 
women hate every thing which strips off the tinsel of 
Sentiment; and they are right, as it would rob them 
of their weapons. I never knew a woman who did not 
hate De Grammont's memoirs for the same reason. 
Even Lady Oxford used to abuse them. 

Thorwaldsen is in Poland, I believe: the bust is at 
Rome still, as it has been paid for these 4 years. It 
should have been sent, but I have no remedy till he 

Rose's work 1 I never received: it was seized at 
Venice. Such is the liberality of the Huns, with their 
two hundred thousand men, that they dare not let such a 
volume as his circulate. 

837. To John Hanson. 

Ravenna, 8 br . e 12? 1820. 

D? SIR, I can enter into no appeal without Counsel's 
opinion : this was promised and has not been sent. 
I would still much rather sell the Manor, at any price, 
than enter into a new and hopeless litigation. 

Your delay (which seems a purposed and unwarrant- 
able one) in completing the Irish Mortgage surprizes and 
distresses me; you will finish by causing me to lose 
many thousand pounds. You may delay as you please, 
but the mortgage must be completed ; for I would rather 
sell out at any loss than trust to the infamous bubble of 
the British funds, into which (had I been upon the spot) 
I could never have entered. 

I. William Stewart Rose's Letters from the North of Italy (1819). 
VOL. V. H 


It is also surprizing that you have never sent in your 
account to Mr. Kinnaird : if it is not sent, how can we 
ever come to any final settlement ? 

In expectation of an answer on these points, 

I remain, yours very truly, 


838. To Richard Belgrave Hoppner. 1 

Ravenna, 8 b . re 13* 1820. 

MY DEAR HOPPNER, By the boat of a certain 
Bonaldo, bound for Venice, I forward to you certain 
Novels of Mrs. Opie and others, for Mrs. Hoppner and 
you as you desired. Amongst the rest there is a German 
translation of Manfred^ with a plaguy long dissertation 
at the end of it ; it would be out of all measure and 
conscience to ask you to translate the whole ; but, if you 
could give me a short sketch of it, I should thank you, 
or if you would make somebody do the whole into 
Italian^ it would do as well ; and I would willingly pay 
some poor Italian German Scholar for his trouble. My 
own papers are at last come from Galignani. With 
many thanks for yours, 

I am, yours very truly, 


P.S. I remit by Missiaglia 30 Napoleons, is that 
the sum ? 

839. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, 8bre 16, 1820. 

DEAR MORAY, The Abbot has just arrived : many 
thanks ; as also for the Monastery when you send it! / ! 

I. From The Archivist, April, 1889, where the letter is printed 
in facsimile to face p. 12. 


The Abbot will have a more than ordinary interest for 
me ; for an ancestor of mine by the mother's side, Sir 
J. Gordon of Gight, the handsomest of his day, died on 
a Scaffold at Aberdeen for his loyalty to Mary, of whom 
he was an imputed paramour as well as her relation. 1 His 
fate was much commented on in the Chronicles of the 
times. If I mistake not, he had something to do with 
her escape from Loch Leven, or with her captivity there. 
But this you will know better than I. 

I recollect Loch Leven as it were but yesterday: I 
saw it in my way to England in 1798, being then ten 
years of age. My Mother (who was as haughty as 
Lucifer with her descent from the Stuarts, and her right 
line, from the old Gordons, not the Seyton Gordons, as 
she disdainfully termed the Ducal branch,) told me the 
Story, always reminding me how superior her Gordons 
were to the Southron Byrons, notwithstanding our Nor- 
man, and always direct masculine descent, 2 which has 
never lapsed into a female, as my mother's Gordons had 
done in her own person. 

I have written to you so often lately, that the brevity 
of this will be welcome. 

Yours ever and truly, 


1. For Sir J. Gordon, see p. 106, note I. 

2. It is possible that Mrs. Byron may have known the blot on the 
Byron pedigree, and the illegitimacy of the family through which 
her son claimed Norman descent. Sir John Byron "with the great 
" beard," grandfather of the first Lord Byron, and grantee of the 
Priory of Newstead, had no legitimate heir. His natural son, John 
Byron, who succeeded to the property by deed of gift, was therefore 
the real founder of Byron's family. Whether Byron knew this 
illegitimacy or not is uncertain. 


840. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, 8bre 17, 1820. 

D? MY, Enclosed is the dedication of Marino 
Faliero to Goethe. Query ? is his title Baron or not ? * 
I think yes. Let me know your opinion, and so forth. 


P.S. Let me know what Mr. Hobhouse and you 
have decided about the two prose letters and their pub- 

I enclose you an Italian abstract of the German 
translator of Manfred's appendix, in which you will per- 
ceive quoted what Goethe says of the whole body of 
English poetry (and not of one in particular). On this 
the dedication is founded, as you will perceive, though 
I had thought of it before, for I look upon him as a 
Great Man. 


SIR, In the Appendix to an English work lately 
translated into German and published at Leipsic, a 
judgment of yours upon English poetry is quoted as 
follows : " That in English poetry, great genius, universal 
" power, a feeling of profundity, with sufficient tenderness 
" and force, are to be found ; but that altogether tJiese do 
" not constitute poets? etc., etc. 

I regret to see a great man falling into a great 
mistake. This opinion of yours only proves that the 

I. Goethe was ennobled, having the Von prefixed to his name, 
but never received the title of Baron. 


" Dictionary of Ten Thousand living English Authors " x 
has not been translated into German. You will have 
read, in your friend Schlegel's version, the dialogue in 

" There are ten thousand! 

Macbeth. Geese, villain? 

Answer. Authors, sir." 2 

Now, of these " ten thousand authors," there are actually 
nineteen hundred and eighty-seven poets, all alive at 
this moment, whatever their works may be, as their 
booksellers well know ; and amongst these there are 
several who possess a far greater reputation than mine, 
although considerably less than yours. It is owing to 
this neglect on the part of your German translators that 
you are not aware of the works of William Wordsworth, 
who has a baronet in London 3 who draws him frontis- 
pieces and leads him about to dinners and to the play ; 
and a Lord in the country, 4 who gave him a place in the 
Excise and a cover at his table. You do not know 
perhaps that this Gentleman is the greatest of all poets 
past present and to come besides which he has written 
an " Opus Magnum " in prose during the late election 
for Westmoreland. 5 His principal publication is entitled 
" Peter Bell" which he had withheld from the public for 
" one and twenty years " to the irreparable loss of all those 
who died in the interim, and will have no opportunity of 

1. A Biographical Dictionary of Living Authors of Great Britain 
and Ireland^ etc., London, 1816, 8vo. 

2. " Macbeth. Where gott'st thou that goose look ? 

Servant. There is ten thousand 

Macbeth. Geese, villain ? 

Servant. Soldiers, sir." 

Macbeth, act v. sc. 3. 

3. Sir George Beaumont. See Professor W. Knight, Life of 
Wordsworth, vol. ii. (Works, vol. x.) p. 56. 

4. Lord Lonsdale (ibid., p. 209). 

5. Two Addresses to the Freeholders of Westmoreland, 1818. 


reading it before the resurrection. There is also another 
named Southey, who is more than a poet, being actually 
poet Laureate, a post which corresponds with what we 
call in Italy Poeta Cessareo, and which you call in German 
I know not what; but as you have a " Caesar" pro- 
bably you have a name for it. In England there is no 
Caesar only the Poet. 

I mention these poets by way of sample to enlighten 
you. They form but two bricks of our Babel, (WINDSOR 
bricks, by the way,) but may serve for a specimen of the 

It is, moreover, asserted that " the predominant 
"character of the whole body of the present English 
" poetry is a disgust and contempt for life." But I rather 
suspect that by one single work of prose, you yourself, 
have excited a greater contempt for life than all the 
English volumes of poesy that ever were written. 
Madame de Stael says, that "Werther has occasioned 
" more suicides than the most beautiful woman ; " and I 
really believe that he has put more individuals out of 
this world than Napoleon himself, except in the way of 
his profession. Perhaps, Illustrious Sir, the acrimonious 
judgment passed by a celebrated northern journal l upon 
you in particular, and the Germans in general, has rather 
indisposed you towards English poetry as well as criti- 
cism. But you must not regard our critics, who are at 
bottom good-natured fellows, considering their two pro- 
fessions taking up the law in court, and laying it down 
out of it. No one can more lament their hasty and 
unfair judgment, in your particular, than I do ; and 
I so expressed myself to your friend Schlegel, in 1816, 
at Coppet. 

I. See an article on Goethe's Aus Meinem Leben, etc., in the 
Edinburgh Review for June, 1816, vol. xxvi. pp. 304-337. 

1820.] THE GREAT GOETHE. 103 

In behalf of my " ten thousand " living brethren, and 
of myself, I have thus far taken notice of an opinion 
expressed with regard to "English poetry" in general, 
and which merited notice, because it was YOURS. 

My principal object in addressing you was to testify 
my sincere respect and admiration of a man, who, f "~ 
half a century, has led the literature of a great nation, 
and will go down to posterity as the first literary Character 
of his Age. 

You have been fortunate, Sir, not only in the writings 
which have illustrated your name, but in the name itself, 
as being sufficiently musical for the articulation of pos- 
terity. In this you have the advantage of some of your 
countrymen, whose names would perhaps be immortal 
also if any body could pronounce them. 

It may, perhaps, be supposed, by this apparent tone 
of levity, that I am wanting in intentional respect towards 
you ; but this will be a mistake : I am always flippant in 
prose. Considering you, as I really and warmly do, in 
common with all your own, and with most other nations, 
to be by far the first literary Character which has existed 
in Europe since the death of Voltaire, I felt, and feel, 
desirous to inscribe to you the following work, not as 
being either a tragedy or a poem, (for I cannot pronounce 
upon its pretensions to be either one or the other, or both, 
or neither,) but as a mark of esteem and admiration from 
a foreigner to the man who has been hailed in Germany 


I have the honour to be, 

With the truest respect, 

Your most obedient and 

Very humble servant, 



Ravenna, 8bre 14, 1820. 

P.S. I perceive that in Germany, as well as in Italy, 
there is a great struggle about what they call " Classical" 
and " Romantic" terms which were not subjects of 
classification in England, at least when I left it four or 
five years ago. Some of the English Scribblers, it is 
true, abused Pope and Swift, but the reason was that 
they themselves did not know how to write either prose 
or verse ; but nobody thought them worth making a sect 
of. Perhaps there may be something of the kind sprung 
up lately, but I have not heard much about it, and it 
would be such bad taste that I shall be very sorry to 
believe it. 

841. To Thomas Moore. 

Ravenna, October 17, 1820. 

You owe me two letters pay them. I want to know 
what you are about. The summer is over, and you will 
be back to Paris. Apropos of Paris, it was not Sophia 
Gat/, but Sophia Gay the English word Gay who was 
my correspondent. 1 Can you tell who she is, as you did 
of the defunct * * ? 

Have you gone on with your poem? I have 

I. "I had mistaken the name of the lady he inquired after, and 
" reported her to him as dead. But, on the receipt of the above 
"letter, I discovered that his correspondent was Madame Sophie 
"Gay, mother of the celebrated poetess and beauty, Mademoiselle 
"Delphine Gay" (Moore). 

Sophie Nichault de la Valette (1776-1852), novelist, dramatist, 
musician, and verse-writer, married, in 1799, as her second husband, 
M. Gay. Her salon was the resort of all that was most brilliant in 
French society under the Empire. Among her novels, which began 
with Laure tPEstell (1802), the most successful was Leonie de Mont- 
braise (1813). But, of all her numerous works, it was said that her 
daughter Delphine, afterwards Madame de Girardin (1804-1855), 
was the most brilliant. 

1 820.] A SUSPECT. 105 

received the French of mine. Only think of being tra- 
duced into a foreign language in such an abominable 
travesty ! It is useless to rail, but one can't help it. 

Have you got my Memoir copied ? l I have begun a 
continuation. Shall I send it you, as far as it is gone ? 

I can't say any thing to you about Italy, for the 
Government here look upon me with a suspicious eye, 
as I am well informed. Pretty fellows ! as if I, a 
solitary stranger, could do any mischief. It is because I 
am fond of rifle and pistol shooting, I believe ; for they 
took the alarm at the quantity of cartridges I consumed, 
the wiseacres ! 

You don't deserve a long letter nor a letter at all 
for your silence. You have got a new Bourbon, 2 it 
seems, whom they have christened Dieu-donn'e ; perhaps 
the honour of the present may be disputed. Did you 
write the good lines on , the Laker ? * * * * 

The Queen has made a pretty theme for the journals. 
Was there ever such evidence published ? Why it is 
worse than Littles Poems or Don Juan. If you don't 
write soon, I will " make you a speech." 

Yours, etc. 

1. Moore, in his Diary for May 7, 1820, writes, " Williams dined 
" with us ; he has begun copying out Lord B.'s 'Memoirs' for me, 
" as I fear the original papers may become worn out by passing 
" through so many hands " (Memoirs, etc., of Thomas Moore, vol. 
iit. p. 1 1 6). 

2. Henri Charles Marie Ferdinand Dieudonne d'Artois, Due de 
Bordeaux and Comte de Chambord (1820-1883), was the posthumous 
son of the Due de Berri assassinated by Louvel. In 1830, when his 
grandfather Charles X. abdicated in his favour, he went into exile. 
In 1843 he claimed the throne of France, assuming the title of 
Henri V. After his marriage (1846) with Marie Therese Beatrix, 
daughter of the Duke of Modena, by whom he had no children, he 
settled at Frohsdorf, near Vienna. In 1873 the Comte de Paris 
recognized his right to the French crown, and thus united the 
legitimists. But his refusal to accept the tricolor in place of the 
white standard of the Bourbons destroyed the hopes of the royalist 


842. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, 8bre 25, 1820. 

D? MORAY, Pray forward the enclosed to Lady 
Byron : it is on business. 

In thanking you for the Abbot, I made four grand 
mistakes. Sir John Gordon l was not of Gight, but of 
Bogagicht, and a Son of Huntley's. He suffered, not for 
his loyalty, but in an insurrection. He had nothing to 
do with Loch Leven, having been dead some time at the 
period of the Queen's confinement. And 4 th . ly I am 
not sure that he was the Queen's paramour or no ; for 
Robertson does not allude to this, though Walter Scott 
does, in the list she gives of her admirers (as unfortunate) 
at the close of the Abbot. 

I. In The Abbot (chap, xxxvii.), Mary, standing by the dying 

George Douglas at the battle of Langside, says, " Look look at 

' him well, thus has it been with all who loved Mary Stuart ! The 

' royalty of Francis, the wit of Chastelar, the power and gallantry 

'of the gay Gordon, the melody of Rizzio, the portly form and 

' youthful grace of Darnley, the bold address and courtly manners 

' of Bothwell and now the deep-devoted passion of the noble 

' Douglas nought could save them they looked on the wretched 

' Mary, and to have loved her was crime enough to deserve early 

'death!" In 1562, one year after Mary landed in Scotland, Sir 

John Gordon, a younger son of the Earl of Huntly, killed Lord 

Ogilvie in a fray. Mary refused to pardon Gordon, and her refusal 

caused Lord Huntly to march on Aberdeen. The Gordons were 

defeated ; Lord Huntly was killed ; Sir John Gordon beheaded ; 

and two of his brothers, condemned to death, were eventually 

pardoned. The younger, Adam, became the famous " Edom o' 

" Gordon." There is no reason to suppose that Mary ever saw Sir 

John Gordon, much less that he was her favoured lover. 

The Gordons of Gight, though descended from the Earl of 
Huntly, were then in the third generation from the founder of 
their branch of the family. John Gordon, second son of the fourth 
Laird of Gight, and great-grandson of Huntly, was hanged in 
February, 1592, for the murder of the Earl of Moray ; but his 
brother William, Laird of Gight from 1576 to 1605 (J. M. Bullock, 
Tragic Adventures of Byron's Ancestors, in the Aberdeen Free Press, 
November n, 18, 25, 1898), though responsible for "at least five 
" murders," died in his bed. 


I must have made all these mistakes in recollecting 
my Mother's account of the matter, although she was 
more accurate than I am, being precise upon points of 
genealogy, like all the Aristocratical Scotch. She had 
a long list of ancestors, like Sir Lucius OTrigger's, 1 
most of whom are to be found in the old Scotch Chro- 
nicles, Spalding, etc., in arms and doing mischief. I 
remember well passing Loch Leven, as well as the 
Queen's Ferry : we were on our way to England in 1798. 

Why do the papers call Hobhouse young ? he is a 
year and a half older than I am ; and I was thirty-two 
last January. 

Of Italy I can say nothing by the post : we are in 
instant expectation of the Barbarians passing the Po; 
and then there will be a war of fury and extermination. 

Pray write sometimes ; the communications will not 
long be open. 


P.S. Send me the Monastery and some Soda powders. 

You had better not publish Blackwood and the 
Roberts prose, except what regards Pope ; you have let 
the time slip by. 

843. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, 9bre 4, 1820. 

I have received from Mr. Galignani the enclosed 
letters, duplicates and receipts, which will explain them- 
selves. 2 As the poems are your property by purchase, 

1. In The Rivals, act iii. sc. 4, Sir Lucius OTrigger says, "Ah, 
" my little friend ! If I had Blunderbuss Hall here, I could show 
"you a range of ancestry, in the O'Trigger line, that would furnish 
" the new room ; every one of whom had killed his man ! " 

2. Galignani had asked Byron to grant him such legal right over 


right, and justice, all matters of publication, etc., etc., 
are for you to decide upon. I know not how far my 
compliance with Mr. G.'s request might be legal, and 
I doubt that it would not be honest. In case you choose 
to arrange with him, I enclose the permits to you, and 
in so doing I wash my hands of the business altogether. 
I sign them merely to enable you to exert the power 
you justly possess more properly. I will have nothing 
to do with it further, except, in my answer to Mr. 
Galignani, to state that the letters, etc., etc., are sent 
to you, and the causes thereof. 

If you can check those foreign Pirates, do ; if not, 
put the permissive papers in the fire : / can have no 
view nor object whatever, but to secure to you your 


P.S. There will be shortly "the Devil to pay" Jure; 
and, as there is no saying that I may not form an Item 
in his bill, I shall not now write at greater length : you 
have not answered my late letters ; and you have acted 
foolishly, as you will find out some day. 

P.S. I have read part of the Quarterly just arrived : 
Mr. Bowles * shall be answered ; he is not quite correct 
in his statement about E\tiglis/i\ JB\ards\ and S\eotc/i\ 

those poems of which he had hitherto been the sole publisher in 
France, as would prevent piracy. 

I. Byron refers to Disraeli's article on Pope, suggested by Spence's 
Anecdotes of Books and Men, which appeared in the Quarterly Review 
for July, 1820 (pp. 400-434). The reviewer quotes on p. 425 a 
passage from Bowles's Invariable Principles of Poetry (1819), in 
which Bowles describes his correction of Byron's mistake in English 
Bards, and Scotch Reviewers, line 360 

" When first Madeira trembled to a kiss." 

(See Poems, vol. i. p. 325, and Byron's note. See also Appendix 
III. for Byron's controversy with Bowles.) 


R\evicwers\. They support Pope, I see, in the Quarterly J- 
Let them continue to do so : it is a Sin, and a Shame, 
and a damnation to think that Pope ! I should require 
it but he does. Those miserable mountebanks of the 
day, the poets, disgrace themselves and deny God, in 
running down Pope, the most faultless of Poets, and 
almost of men. 

The Edinburgh praises Jack Keats or Ketch, or 
whatever his names are : why, his is the * of Poetry 
something like the pleasure an Italian fiddler extracted 
out of being suspended daily by a Street Walker in 
Drury Lane. This went on for some weeks : at last 
the Girl went to get a pint of Gin met another, 
chatted too long, and Cornelli was hanged outright before 
she returned. Such like is the trash they praise, and 
such will be the end of the * * poesy of this miser- 
able Self-polluter of the human Mind. 

W. Scott's Monastery just arrived : many thanks for 
that Grand Desideratum of the last Six Months. 

P.S. You have cut up old Edgeworth, 2 it seems, 
amongst you. You are right : he was a bore. I met 
the whole batch Mr., Mrs., and Miss at a blue break- 
fast of Lady Davy's in Blue Square ; and he proved 
but bad, in taste and tact and decent breeding. He 
began by saying that Parr (Dr. Parr) had attacked him, 

t. "It is with pain we have so long witnessed the attacks on the 
' moral and poetical character of this great poet by the last two of his 
' editors. Warton, who first entered the list, though not unwilling 
' to wound, exhibits occasionally some of the courtesy of the ancient 
' chivalry ; but his successor, the Rev. Mr. Bowles, pushes the con- 
' test <J Foutrance, with the appearance, though not with the reality, 
' of personal hostility. It had been more honourable in this gentle- 
' man, with his known prejudices against this class of poetry, in 
{ which Pope will always remain unrivalled, to have declined the 
' office of editor, than to attempt to spread among new generations of 
' readers the most unfavourable and the most unjust impressions of 
' the Poet and of the Man." Quarterly Review, vol. xxiii. p. 407. 

2. In the Quarterly Review for July, 1820, pp. 510-549. 


and that he (the father of Miss E.) had cut him up in 
his answer. Now, Parr would have annihilated him; 
and if he had not, why tell us (a long story) ivho wanted 
to breakfast? I saw them different times in different 
parties, and I thought him a very tiresome coarse old 
Irish half-and-half Gentleman, and her a pleasant reserved 
old woman ************ 

844. To Thomas Moore. 

Ravenna, November 5, 1820. 

Thanks for your letter, which hath come somewhat 
costively ; but better late than never. Of it anon. 
Mr. Galignani, of the Press, hath, it seems, been sup- 
planted and sub-pirated by another Parisian publisher, 
who has audaciously printed an edition of L. B.'s works, 
at the ultra-liberal price of ten francs and (as Galignani 
piteously observes) eight francs only for booksellers ! 
horresco referens. Think of a man's whole works pro- 
ducing so little ! 

Galignani sends me, post haste, a permission for him, 
from me, to publish, etc., etc., which permit I have signed 
and sent to Mr. Murray of Albemarle Street. Will you 
explain to G. that I have no right to dispose of Murray's 
works without his leave ? and therefore I must refer him 
to M. to get the permit out of his claws no easy matter, 
I suspect. I have written to G. to say as much ; but a 
word of mouth from a "great brother author" would 
convince him that I could not honestly have complied 
with his wish, though I might legally. What I could do 
I have done, viz. signed the warrant and sent it to 
Murray. Let the dogs divide the carcass, if it is killed 
to their liking. 

I am glad of your epigram. It is odd that we should 


both let our wits run away with our sentiments; for I 
am sure that we are both Queen's men at bottom. 1 But 
there is no resisting a clinch it is so clever ! Apropos 
of that we have a " diphthong " also in this part of the 
world not a Greek^ but a Spanish one do you under- 
stand me ? which is about to blow up the whole alpha- 
bet. It was first pronounced at Naples, and is spreading ; 
but we are nearer the barbarians, who are in great force 
on the Po, and will pass it, with the first legitimate 

There will be the devil to pay, and there is no saying 
who will or who will not be set down in his bill. If 
" honour should come unlooked for " 2 to any of your 
acquaintance, make a Melody of it, that his ghost, like 
poor Yorick's, may have the satisfaction of being plain- 
tively pitied or still more nobly commemorated, like 
" Oh breathe not his name." 3 In case you should not 
think him worth it, here is a Chant for you instead 

When a man hath no freedom to fight for at home, 
Let him combat for that of his neighbours ; 

Let him think of the glories of Greece and of Rome, 
And get knock'd on the head for his labours. 

1. Moore was a supporter of the Queen. In his Diary for 
November n, 1820 (Memoirs, etc., vol. iii. p. 168), he writes, 
" The decision of the House of Lords against the Queen occupying 
"every one's mind and tongue. What a barefaced defiance of all 
" law and justice, and what precious scoundrels there are in the 
" high places of the world ! " 

2. Henry IV., Part I. act v. sc. 3. Compare Pope's Temple of 
Fame, line $13. 

3. Moore's song, of which the first stanza runs as follows : 

" O breathe not his name, let it sleep in the shade, 
Where cold and unhonour'd his relics are laid ; 
Sad, silent, and dark be the tears that we shed, 
As the night-dew that falls on the grass o'er his head ; " 

appeared in No. i. of the Irish Melodies, 


To do good to mankind is the chivalrous plan, 

And is always as nobly requited ; 
Then battle for freedom wherever you can, 

And, if not shot or hang'd, you'll get knighted. 

So you have gotten the letter of " Epigrams " I am 
glad of it. You will not be so, for I shall send you more. 
Here is one I wrote for the endorsement of " the Deed 
" of Separation " in 1816; but the lawyers objected to it, 
as superfluous. It was written as we were getting up the 
signing and sealing. * * has the original. 

Endorsement to tJie Deed of Separation^ in tJie April 
of 1816. 

A year ago you swore, fond she ! 

" To love, to honour," and so forth : 
Such was the vow you pledged to me, 

And here's exactly what 'tis worth. 

For the anniversary of January 2, 1821, I have a 
small grateful anticipation, which, in case of accident, I 

To Penelope ; January 2, 1821. 

This day, of all our days, has done 

The worst for me and you : 
'Tis just six years since we were one, 

And Jive since we were two. 

Pray excuse all this nonsense ; for I must talk non- 
sense just now, for fear of wandering to more serious 
topics, which, in the present state of things, is not safe 
by a foreign post. 

I told you in my last, that I had been going on with 


the "Memoirs," and have got as far as twelve more 
sheets. But I suspect they will be interrupted. In that 
case I will send them on by post, though I feel remorse 
at making a friend pay so much for postage, for we can't 
frank here beyond the frontier. 

I shall be glad to hear of the event of the Queen's 
concern. As to the ultimate effect, the most inevitable 
one to you and me (if they and we live so long) will be 
that the Miss Moores and Miss Byrons will present us 
with a great variety of grandchildren by different fathers. 

Pray, where did you get hold of Goethe's Florentine 
husband-killing story ? Upon such matters, in general, I 
may say, with Beau Clincher, in reply to Errand's wife 

" Oh the villain, he hath murdered my poor Timothy ! 

" Clincher. Damn your Timothy ! I tell you, woman, 
"your husband has mitrdei-ed me he has carried away 
" my fine jubilee clothes." 1 

So Bowles has been telling a story, too ('t is in the 
Quarterly), about the woods of " Madeira," and so forth. 
I shall be at Bowles again, if he is not quiet. He mis- 
states, or mistakes, in a point or two. The paper is 
finished, and so is the letter. 

Yours, etc. 

845. To John Murray. 

R[avenn]a, gbre 9, 1820. 

DEAR MORAY, The talent you approve of is an 
amiable one, and as you say might prove "a national 
" Service," but unfortunately I must be angry with a man 
before I draw his real portrait; and I can't deal in 
"generals" so that I trust never to have provocation 

I . Farquhar's Constant Couple, or a Trip to the Jubilee, act iv. 
sc. I. (For Goethe's story, see his review of Manfred, Appendix II. 
p. 504.) 

VOL. V. I 


enough to make a Gallery, If " the person " had not by 
many little dirty sneaking traits provoked it, I should 
have been silent, though I had observed him. Here 
follows an alteration. Put 

Devil with such delight in damning, 
That if at the resurrection 
Unto him the free selection 
Of his future could be given, 
'Twould be rather Hell than Heaven. 

That is to say, if these two new lines do not too much 
lengthen out and weaken the amiability of the original 
thought and expression. You have a discretionary power 
about showing : I should think that Croker and D' Israeli 
would not disrelish a sight of these light little humorous 
things, and may be indulged now and then. 

D' Israeli wrote the article on Spence : I know him 
by the mark in his mouth. I am glad that the Quarterly 
has had so much Classical honesty as to insert it : it is 
good and true. 

Hobhouse writes me a facetious letter about my 
indolence and love of Slumber. It becomes him : he is 
in active life ; he writes pamphlets against Canning, to 
which he does not put his name ; he gets into Newgate 
and into Parliament both honourable places of refuge ; 
and he " greatly daring dines " at all the taverns (why 
don't he set up a tap room at once), and then writes to 
quiz my laziness. 

Why, I do like one or two vices, to be sure ; but I 
can back a horse and fire a pistol " without winking or 
" blinking " like Major Sturgeon ; l I have fed at times for 

I . In Foote's Mayor of Garratt, act i. sc. I, Major Sturgeon says, 
" In a week I could shoulder, and rest, and poise, and turn to the 
" right, and wheel to the left ; and in less than a month I could fire 
" without winking or blinking." 


two months together on sheer biscuit and water (without 
metaphor) ; I can get over seventy or eighty miles a day 
riding post, and swim five at a Stretch, taking apiece before 
and after, as at Venice, in 1818, or at least I could do, 
and have done it ONCE, and I never was ten minutes in 
my life over a solitary dinner. 

Now, my friend Hobhouse, when we were wayfaring 
men, used to complain grievously of hard beds and sharp 
insects, while I slept like a top, and to awaken me with 
his swearing at them : he used to damn his dinners daily, 
both quality and cookery and quantity, and reproach 
me for a sort of " brutal " indifference, as he called it, 
to these particulars; and now he writes me facetious 
sneerings because I do not get up early in a morning, 
when there is no occasion if there were, he knows that 
I was always out of bed before him, though it is true 
that my ablutions detained me longer in dressing than 
his noble contempt of that " oriental scrupulosity " 

Then he is still sore about " the ballad" he ! ! why, 
he lampooned me at Brighton, in 1808, about Jackson 
the boxer and bold Webster, etc. : in 1809, he turned 
the death of my friend E? Long into ridicule and rhyme, 
because his name was susceptible of a. pun ; and, although 
he saw that I was distressed at it, before I left England 
in 1816, he wrote rhymes upon D. Kinnaird, you, and 
myself; and at Venice he parodied the lines " Though 
" the day of my destiny's over " 1 in a comfortable quizzing 
way : and now he harps on my ballad about his election ! 
Pray tell him all this, for I will have no underhand work 
with my " old Cronies." If he can deny the facts, let 
him. I maintain that he is more carnivorously and 
carnally sensual than I am, though I am bad enough too 
I. See Letters, vol. iv. p. 73, note I. 


for that matter ; but not in eating and haranguing at the 
Crown and Anchor, where I never was but twice and 
those were at " Whore's Hops " when I was a younker in 
my teens ; and, Egad, I think them the most respectable 
meetings of the two. But he is a little wroth that I 
would not come over to the Queetis trial : lazy, quotha ! 
it is so true that he should be ashamed of asserting it. 
He counsels me not to " get into a Scrape ; " but, as 
Beau Clincher says, "How melancholy are Newgate 
" reflections ! " * To be sure, his advice is worth following ; 
for experience teacheth : he has been in a dozen within 
these last two years. / pronounce me tJie more temperate 
of the two. 

Have you gotten The Hints yet ? 

I know Henry Matthews : he is the image, to the 
very voice, of his brother Charles, only darker : his laugh 
his in particular. The first time I ever met him was in 
Scrope Davies's rooms after his brother's death, and I 
nearly dropped, thinking that it was his Ghost. I have 
also dined with him in his rooms at King's College. 
Hobhouse once purposed a similar memoir; but I am 
afraid that the letters of Charles's correspondence with me 
(which are at Whitton with my other papers) would hardly 
do for the public : for our lives were not over strict, and 
our letters somewhat lax upon most subjects. 

His Superiority over all his cotemporaries was quite 
indisputable and acknowledged : none of us ever thought 
of being at all near Matthews; and yet there were 
some high men of his standing Bankes, Bob Milnes, 
Hobhouse, Bailey, and many others without numbering 
the mere Academical men, of whom we hear little out 
of the University, and whom he beat hollow on their 
own Ground. 

I. The Constant Ccnipk, act v. sc. 2. 


His gaining the Downing Fellowship was the com- 
pletest thing of the kind ever known. He carried off 
both declamation prizes : in short, he did whatever he 
chose. He was three or four years my Senior, but I 
lived a good deal with him latterly, and with his friends. 
He wrote to me the very day of his death (I believe), or 
at least a day before, if not the very day. He meant 
to have stood for the University Membership. He was 
a very odd and humourous fellow besides, and spared 
nobody : for instance, walking out in Newstead Garden, 
he stopped at Boatswain's monument inscribed " Here 
" lies Boatswain, a Dog," etc., and then observing a blank 
marble tablet on the other side, " So (says he) there is 
" room for another friend, and I propose that the Inscrip- 
" tion be ' Here lies H bh se, a Pig,' " etc. You may as 
well not let this transpire to the worthy member, lest he 
regard neither his dead friend nor his living one, with 
his wonted Suavity. 

Rose's lines must be at his own option : /can have no 
objection to their publication. Pray salute him from me. 

Mr. Keats, whose poetry you enquire after, appears 
to me what I have already said : such writing is a sort of 
mental * * * * * ******* his Imagination. I don't 
mean he is indecent^ but viciously soliciting his own ideas 
into a state, which is neither poetry' nor any thing else 
but a Bedlam vision produced by raw pork and opium. 
Barry Cornwall would write well, if he would let himself. 
Croly is superior to many, but seems to think himself 
inferior to Nobody. 

Last week I sent you a correspondence with Galig- 
nani, and some documents on your property. You have 
now, I think, an opportunity of cfiecking, or at least 
limiting, those French re-publications. You may let all 
your authors publish what they please against me or 


mine ; a publisher is not, and cannot be, responsible for 
all the works that issue from his printer's. 

The " White Lady of Avenel " is not quite so good 
as a real well-aiithenticated ^ Donna bianca") White Lady 
of Colalto? or spectre in the Marca Trivigiana, who has 
been repeatedly seen : there is a man (a huntsman) now 
alive who saw her also. Hoppner could tell you all 
about her, and so can Rose perhaps. I myself have no 
doubt of the fact, historical and spectral. She always 
appeared on particular occasions, before the deaths of 
the family, etc., etc. I heard M? Benzoni say, that she 
knew a Gentleman who had seen her cross his room at 
Colalto Castle. Hoppner saw and spoke with the 
Huntsman who met her at the Chase, and never hunted 
afterwards. She was a Girl attendant, who, one day 
dressing the hair of a Countess Colalto, was seen by her 
mistress to smile upon her husband in the Glass. The 
Countess had her shut up in the wall at the Castle, like 
Constance de Beverley. Ever after, she haunted them 
and all the Colaltos. She is described as very beautiful 
and fair. It is well authenticated. 


846. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, Qbre 1 8, 1820. 

DEAR MORAY, The death of Waite 2 is a shock to 
the teeth, as well as to the feelings of all who knew 

I. The White Lady of Avenel, in Scott's Monastery ; mixed much 
and capriciously in the affairs of the world. The "fair Christine," 
the victim of a jealous mistress, whose story Rogers told in his Italy 
("Coll'alto "), seems a more legitimate ghost. Like Constance de 
Beverley in Marmion (Canto II. stanzas xx.-xxxiii.), she was 
immured alive in the wall. 

2. The fashionable dentist of 2, Old Burlington Street. " Went," 
says Lord Byron, " to Waite's. Teeth are all right and white ; but 


him. Good God, he and Blake l both gone ! I left them 
both in the most robust health, and little thought of the 
national loss in so short a time as five years. They were 
both as much superior to Wellington in rational great- 
ness, as he who preserves the hair and the teeth is 
preferable to the " bloody blustering booby " who gains 
a name by breaking heads and knocking out grinders. 
Who succeeds him ? where is tooth powder ? mild and 
yet efficacious where is tincture? where are cleansing 
roots and brushes now to be obtained? Pray obtain 
what information you can upon these " Tusculan ques- 
" tions : " my jaws ache to think on't. Poor fellows ! I 
anticipated seeing both again ; and yet they are gone to 
that place where both teeth and hair last longer than 
they do in this life. I have seen a thousand graves 
opened, and always perceived, that, whatever was gone, 
the teeth and hair remained of those who had died with 
them. Is not this odd ? they go the very first things in 
youth, and yet last the longest in the dust, if people will 
but die to preserve them ! It is a queer life, and a queer 
death, that of mortals. 

I knew that Waite had married, but little thought 
that the other decease was so soon to overtake him. 
Then he was such a delight, such a Coxcomb, such a 
Jewel of a Man ! There is a taylor at Bologna so like him, 
and also at the top of his profession. Do not neglect 
this commission : who or what can replace him ? what 
says the public ? 

"he says that I grind them in my sleep, and chip the edges." 
Journal, February 19, 1814 (Letters, vol. ii. p. 387). 

I. " Write but like Wordsworth live beside a lake, 
And keep your bushy locks a year from Blake." 

"As famous a tonsor as Licinus himself, and better paid, and 
"may, like him, be one day a senator, having a better qualifica- 
" tion than one half of the heads he crops, viz. Independence." 
Hints from Horace, 1. 476, Byron's note ; see Poems, vol. i. p. 422. 


I remand you the preface. Don't forget that the 
Italian extract from the Chronicle must be translated. 
With regard to what you say of retouching the Juans and 
the Hints , it is all very well ; but I can't furbish. I am 
like the tyger (in poesy), if I miss my first Spring, I go 
growling back to my Jungle. There is no second. I 
can't correct; I can't, and I won't. Nobody ever 
succeeds in it, great or small. Tasso remade the whole 
of his Jerusalem ; but who ever reads that version ? All 
the world goes to the first Pope added to tlie " Rape of 
" the Lock" but did not reduce it. You must take my 
things as they happen to be : if they are not likely to 
suit, reduce their estimate then accordingly. I would 
rather give them away than hack and hew them. I don't 
say that you are not right : I merely assert that I cannot 
better them. I must either " make a spoon, or spoil a 
" horn." And there's an end. 

The parcel of the second of June, with the late Edge- 
worth and so forth, has never arrived : parcels of a later 
date have, of which I have given you my opinions in 
late letters. I remit you what I think a Catholic curi- 
osity the Pope's brief, authenticating the body of Saint 
Francis of Assisi, a town on the road to Rome. 

Yours ever, 

P.S. Of the praises of that little dirty blackguard 
Keates in the Edinburgh, I shall observe as Johnson did 
when Sheridan the actor got a pension : " What ! has he 
" got a pension ? Then it is time that I should give up 
" mine ! " * Nobody could be prouder of the praises of the 

I. "Johnson, who thought slightingly of Sheridan's art, upon 
"hearing that he was also pensioned, exclaimed, 'What! have 
"they given him a pension? Then it is time for me to give up 
"mine!' Whether this proceeded from a momentary indignation, 


Edinburgh than I was, or more alive to their censure, as I 
showed in E\tiglish~\ B\ards\ andS(cotcJi\ R\eviewers\. At 
present all the men they have ever praised are degraded 
by that insane article. Why don't they review and 
praise " Solomon's Guide to Health " ? x it is better sense 
and as much poetry as Johnny Keates. 

Bowles must be bowled down : 'tis a sad match at 
Cricket, if that fellow can get any Notches at Pope's 
expence. If he once gets into " Lord's ground," (to con- 
tinue the pun, because it is foolish,) I think I could beat 
him in one Innings. You did not know, perhaps, that I 
was once (not metaphorically, but really) a good Cricketer, 
particularly in batting, and I played in the Harrow match 
against the Etonians in 1805, gaining more notches (as 
one of our chosen Eleven) than any, except L? Ipswich 
and Brookman, on our side. 2 

847. To John Murray. 3 

Ravenna, 9 bre 19, 1820. 

DEAR MURRAY, What you said of the late Charles 
Skinner Matthews has set me to my recollections ; but I 
have not been able to turn up any thing which would do 
for the purposed Memoir of his brother, even if he had 
previously done enough during his life to sanction the 
introduction of anecdotes so merely personal. He was, 

" as if it were an affront to his exalted merit that a player should be 
" rewarded in the same manner with him, or was the sudden effect 
" of a fit of peevishness, it was unluckily said, and, indeed, can- 
"not be justified." BoswelFs Johnson, 1763, ed. G. B. Hill, vol. i. 
PP- 385. 386. 

1. Samuel Solomon was notorious for his "Cordial Balm of 
" Gilead." His Guide to Health, or advice to both sexes, in twenty- 
two years (1795-1817) passed into its sixty -sixth edition. 

2. See Letters, vol. i. p. 70. 

3. This letter was, by an error of judgment, printed in Letters, 
vol. i. pp. 150-160. It is now reprinted in its chronological place ; 
but the notes there given have not been repeated. 


however, a very extraordinary man, and would have been 
a great one. No one ever succeeded in a more surpassing 
degree than he did as far as he went. He was indolent, 
too; but whenever he stripped, he overthrew all an- 
tagonists. His conquests will be found registered at 
Cambridge, particularly his Downing one, which was hotly 
and highly contested, and yet easily won. Hobhouse was 
his most intimate friend, and can tell you more of him 
than any man. William Bankes also a great deal. I my- 
self recollect more of his oddities than of his academical 
qualities, for we lived most together at a very idle period 
of my life. When I went up to Trinity, in 1805, at the 
age of seventeen and a half, I was miserable and untoward 
to a degree. I was wretched at leaving Harrow, to which 
I had become attached during the two last years of my 
stay there ; wretched at going to Cambridge instead of 
Oxford (there were no rooms vacant at Christchurch) ; 
wretched from some private domestic circumstances of 
different kinds, and consequently about as unsocial as a 
wolf taken from the troop. So that, although I knew 
Matthews, and met him often then at Bankes's, (who was 
my collegiate pastor, and master, and patron,) and at 
Rhode's, Milnes's, Price's, Dick's, Macnamara's, Farrell's, 
Gaily Knight's, and others of that set of contemporaries, 
yet I was neither intimate with him nor with any one 
else, except my old schoolfellow Edward Long (with 
whom I used to pass the day in riding and swimming), 
and William Bankes, who was good-naturedly tolerant of 
my ferocities. 

It was not till 1807, after I had been upwards of a 
year away from Cambridge, to which I had returned 
again to reside for my degree, that I became one of 
Matthews's familiars, by means of Hobhouse, who, after 
hating me for two years, because I wore a white hat, and 


a grey coat, and rode a grey horse (as he says himself), 
took me into his good graces because I had written some 
poetry. I had always lived a good deal, and got drunk 
occasionally, in their company but now we became 
really friends in a morning. Matthews, however, was 
not at this period resident in College. I met him chiefly 
in London, and at uncertain periods at Cambridge. 
Hobhouse, in the mean time, did great things : he 
founded the Cambridge " Whig Club " (which he seems 
to have forgotten), and the "Amicable Society," which 
was dissolved in consequence of the members constantly 
quarrelling, and made himself very popular with " us 
" youth," and no less formidable to all tutors, professors, 
and heads of Colleges. William Bankes was gone ; while 
he stayed, he ruled the roast or rather the roasting 
and was father of all mischiefs. 

Matthews and I, meeting in London, and elsewhere, 
became great cronies. He was not good tempered nor 
am I but with a little tact his temper was manageable, 
and I thought him so superior a man, that I was willing 
to sacrifice something to his humours, which were often, 
at the same time, amusing and provoking. What became 
of his papers (and he certainly had many), at the time of 
his death, was never known. I mention this by the way, 
fearing to skip it over, and as he wrote remarkably well, 
both in Latin and English. We went down to Newstead 
together, where I had got a famous cellar, and Monks' 
dresses from a masquerade warehouse. We were a com- 
pany of some seven or eight, with an occasional neighbour 
or so for visiters, and used to sit up late in our friars' 
dresses, drinking burgundy, claret, champagne, and what 
not, out of the skull-crip, and all sorts of glasses, and 
buffooning all round the house, in our conventual gar- 
ments. Matthews always denominated me " the Abbot," 


and never called me by any other name in his good 
humours, to the day of his death. The harmony of 
these our symposia was somewhat interrupted, a few 
days after our assembling, by Matthews's threatening to 
throw Hobhouse out of a window, in consequence of I 
know not what commerce of jokes ending in this epigram. 
Hobhouse came to me and said, that " his respect and 
" regard for me as host would not permit him to call out 
" any of my guests, and that he should go to town next 
" morning." He did. It was in vain that I represented 
to him that the window was not high, and that the turf 
under it was particularly soft. Away he went. 

Matthews and myself had travelled down from London 
together, talking all the way incessantly upon one single 
topic. When we got to Loughborough, I know not what 
chasm had made us diverge for a moment to some other 
subject, at which he was indignant. " Come," said he, 
" don't let us break through let us go on as we began, to 
" our journey's end ; " and so he continued, and was as 
entertaining as ever to the very end. He had previously 
occupied, during my year's absence from Cambridge, my 
rooms in Trinity, with the furniture ; and Jones, the 
tutor, in his odd way, had said, on putting him in, " Mr. 
" Matthews, I recommend to your attention not to damage 
" any of the moveables, for Lord Byron, Sir, is a young man 
" of tumultuous passions" Matthews was delighted with 
this ; and whenever anybody came to visit him, begged 
them to handle the very door with caution ; and used to 
repeat Jones's admonition in his tone and manner. 
There was a large mirror in the room, on which he 
remarked, " that he thought his friends were grown un- 
" commonly assiduous in coming to see him, but he soon 
" discovered that they only came to see themselves" Jones's 
phrase of <c tumultuous passions" and the whole scene, 


had put him into such good humour, that I verily believe 
that I owed to it a portion of his good graces. 

When at Newstead, somebody by accident rubbed 
against one of his white silk stockings, one day before 
dinner ; of course the gentleman apologised. " Sir," 
answered Matthews, "it may be all very well for you, 
" who have a great many silk stockings, to dirty other 
" people's ; but to me, who have only this one pair , which I 
" have put on in honour of the Abbot here, no apology can 
" compensate for such carelessness; besides, the expense of 
" washing." He had the same sort of droll sardonic way 
about every thing. A wild Irishman, named Farrell, one 
evening began to say something at a large supper at 
Cambridge, Matthews roared out " Silence ! " and then, 
pointing to Farrell, cried out, in the words of the oracle, 
" Orson is endowed with reason" You may easily suppose 
that Orson lost what reason he had acquired, on hearing 
this compliment. When Hobhouse published his volume 
of poems, the Miscellany (which Matthews would call the 
" Miss-sell-any"}, all that could be drawn from him was, 
that the preface was "extremely like Walsh" Hob- 
house thought this at first a compliment ; but we never 
could make out what it was, for all we know of Walsh 
is his Ode to King William, and Pope's epithet of 
''knowing Walsh" When the Newstead party broke 
up for London, Hobhouse and Matthews, who were the 
greatest friends possible, agreed, for a whim, to walk 
together to town. They quarrelled by the way, and 
actually walked the latter half of the journey, occasionally 
passing and repassing, without speaking. When Matthews 
had got to Highgate, he had spent all his money but 
three-pence halfpenny, and determined to spend that also 
in a pint of beer, which I believe he was drinking before 
a public-house, as Hobhouse passed him (still without 


speaking) for the last time on their route. They were 
reconciled in London again. 

One of Matthews's passions was " the fancy ; " and he 
sparred uncommonly well. But he always got beaten in 
rows, or combats with the bare fist. In swimming, too, 
he swam well ; but with effort and labotir t and too high 
out of the water ; so that Scrope Davies and myself, of 
whom he was therein somewhat emulous, always told him 
that he would be drowned if ever he came to a difficult 
pass in the water. He was so ; but surely Scrope and 
myself would have been most heartily glad that 

"the Dean had lived, 
And our prediction proved a lie. " 

His head was uncommonly handsome, very like what 
Pope's was in his youth. 

His voice, and laugh, and features, are strongly re- 
sembled by his brother Henry's, if Henry be he of King's 
College. His passion for boxing was so great, that he 
actually wanted me to match him with Dogherty (whom 
I had backed and made the match for against Tom 
Belcher), and I saw them spar together at my own 
lodgings with the gloves on. As he was bent upon it, I 
would have backed Dogherty to please him, but the match 
went off. It was of course to have been a private fight, 
in a private room. 

On one occasion, being too late to go home and 
dress, he was equipped by a friend (Mr. Baillie, I believe,) 
in a magnificently fashionable and somewhat exaggerated 
shirt and neckcloth. He proceeded to the Opera, and 
took his station in Fop's Alley. During the interval 
between the opera and the ballet, an acquaintance took 
his station by him and saluted him : " Come round," said 
Matthews, " come round." " Why should I come 
" round ? " said the other ; " you have only to turn your 


" head I am close by you." " That is exactly what I 
" cannot do," said Matthews ; " don't you see the state I am 
" in ? " pointing to his buckram shirt collar and inflexible 
cravat, and there he stood with his head always in the 
same perpendicular position during the whole spectacle. 

One evening, after dining together, as we were going 
to the Opera, I happened to have a spare Opera ticket 
(as subscriber to a box), and presented it to Matthews. 
" Now, sir," said he to Hobhouse afterwards, " this I call 
" courteoiis in the Abbot another man would never have 
" thought that I might do better with half a guinea than 
" throw it to a door-keeper ; but here is a man not only 
" asks me to dinner, but gives me a ticket for the theatre." 
These were only his oddities, for no man was more liberal, 
or more honourable in all his doings and dealings, than 
Matthews. He gave Hobhouse and me, before we set 
out for Constantinople, a most splendid entertainment, to 
which we did ample justice. One of his fancies was 
dining at all sorts of out-of-the-way places. Somebody 
popped upon him in I know not what coffee-house in 
the Strand and what do you think was the attraction ? 
Why, that he paid a shilling (I think) to dine -with his hat 
on. This he called his " hat house," and used to boast 
of the comfort of being covered at meal times. 

When Sir Henry Smith was expelled from Cam- 
bridge for a row with a tradesman named "Hiron," 
Matthews solaced himself with shouting under Hiron's 
windows every evening, 

" Ah me ! what perils do environ 
The man who meddles with hot Hiron" 

He was also of that band of profane scoffers who, 
under the auspices of * * * *, used to rouse Lort Mansel 
(late Bishop of Bristol) from his slumbers in the lodge of 
Trinity ; and when he appeared at the window foaming 


with wrath, and crying out, " I know you, gentlemen, I 
" know you ! " were wont to reply, " We beseech thee to 
" hear us, good Lort ! " " Good Lort deliver us ! " (Lort 
was his Christian name.) As he was very free in his 
speculations upon all kinds of subjects, although by no 
means either dissolute or intemperate in his conduct, and 
as I was no less independent, our conversation and cor- 
respondence used to alarm our friend Hobhouse to a 
considerable degree. 

You must be almost tired of my packets, which will 
have cost a mint of postage. 

Salute Gifford and all my friends. 


?. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, gbre 23, 1820. 

DEAR MORAY, There have arrived the preface, the 
translation the first sixteen pages, also from page sixty- 
five to ninety-six; but no intermediate sheets from y e . six- 
teenth to sixty-fifth page. I apprize you of this, in case 
any such should have been sent. 

I hope that the printer will perfectly understand 
where to insert some three or four additional lines, which 
Mr. Gifford has had the goodness to copy out in his own 

The translation is extremely well done, and I beg to 
present my thanks and respects to Mr. Cohen for his 
time and trouble. The old Chronicle Style is far better 
done than I could have done it : some of the old words 
are past the understanding even of the present Italians. 
Perhaps if Foscolo was to cast a glance over it, he could 
rectify such, or confirm them. 

Your two volume won't do : the first is very well, but 

1 8 20.] 



the second must be anonymous, and the first with the 
name, which would make a confusion or an identity, both 
of which ought to be avoided. You had better put the 
Doge, Dante, etc., into one volume, and bring out the 
other soon afterwards, but not on the same day. 

The Hints, Hobhouse says, will require a good deal 
of slashing, to suit the times, which will be a work of 
time, for I don't feel at all laborious just now. What- 
ever effect they are to have would perhaps be greater in 
a separate form, and they also must have my name to 
them. Now, if you publish them in the same volume 
with "Don jfuan" they identify Don yuan as mine, 
which I don't think worth a Chancery Suit about my 
daughter's guardianship ; as in your present code a face- 
tious poem is sufficient to take away a man's rights over 
his family. 

I regret to hear that the Queen has been so treated 
on the second reading of her bill. 

Of the state of things here it would be difficult and 
not very prudent to speak at large, the Huns opening all 
letters : I wonder if they can read them when they have 
opened them ? if so, they may see, in my most legible 
hand, that I think them damned scoundrels and bar- 
barians, their emperor a fool, and themselves more fools 
than he ; all which they may send to Vienna, for anything 
I care. They have got themselves masters of the Papal 
police, and are bullying away j but some day or other 
they will pay for it all. It may not be very soon, because 
these unhappy Italians have no union nor consistency 
among themselves ; but I suppose Providence will get 
tired of them at last, and show that God is not an 

Ever yours truly, 

VOL. V. K 


P.S. I enclosed a letter to you for Lady B. on 
business some time ago : did you receive and forward it ? 
Adopt Mr. Gifford's alterations in the proofs. 

849. To John Hanson. 

Ravenna, 9 b l e 30. 1820. 

DEAR SIR, I have received your letter with Coun- 
sel's opinion upon the Appeal. 1 You had better then 
enter the Appeal immediately not to lose further time. 

Mr. Kinnaird acted by my directions about Col. 
Leigh's bond. 2 

Let me hope that the Blessington Mortgage will 
proceed without further delays. 

You have my full directions to proceed in making 
Mr. Claughton fulfil his payments. 

I do not know whether it will be best to send a 
Courier to Ravenna with the deeds, or to send them by 
the post. Consult weight and security, and adopt the 
mode which will be most speedy. 

The Scotch deeds directions I do not understand, not- 
withstanding all the pencil marks ; but I will try to sign 
them correctly. 

My "rough rebukes," as you call them, have been 
excited by the not very smooth delays, which have inter- 
vened. What can a man say at such a distance to you 
gentlemen of the law ? You best know how far they are 

I shall be very glad to hear any good news, and, with 
respects and remembrances to Charles and all your family, 
I am, yours very truly and faithfully, 


1. I.e. in the Rochdale lawsuit. (See p. 62, note 2.) 

2. Byron had advanced money to Colonel Leigh, and now made 
the loan a gift by directing the bond to be cancelled. 


850. To Thomas Moore. 

Ravenna, Dec. 9, 1820. 

Besides this letter, you will receive three packets, 
containing, in all, 18 more sheets of Memoranda, which, 
I fear, will cost you more in postage l than they will ever 
produce by being printed in the next century. Instead 
of waiting so long, if you could make any thing of them 
now in the way of reversion, (that is, after my death,) I 
should be very glad, as, with all due regard to your 
progeny, I prefer you to your grandchildren. Would not 
Longman or Murray advance you a certain sum Jtow, 
pledging themselves not to have them published till after 
my decease, think you ? and what say you ? 

Over these latter sheets I would leave you a dis- 
cretionary power ; 2 because they contain, perhaps, a 
thing or two which is too sincere for the public. If I 
consent to your disposing of their reversion now, where 
would be the harm ? Tastes may change. I would, in 
your case, make my essay to dispose of them, not publish, 
now ; and if you (as is most likely) survive me, add what 
you please from your own knowledge; and, above a//, 
contradict any thing, if I have wu-stated ; for my first 
object is the truth, even at my own expense. 

I have some knowledge of your countryman Muley 
Moloch, 3 the lecturer. He wrote to me several letters 

1. " Forty-six francs and a half," according to Moore's Diary for 
December 22, 1820 (Memoirs, etc., vol. iii. p. 182). 

2. " The power here meant is that of omitting passages that might 
" be thought objectionable. He afterwards gave me this, as well as 
" every other right, over the whole of the manuscript " (Moore). 

3. See Letters, vol. iv. p. 416, note \. Mulock was at this time 
lecturing on English literature in Paris. Moore attended three of 
the lectures. November 6, 1820 : " Took Bessy in to attend 
" Mulock's first lecture on English literature ; flumen verborum 
" guttula mentis" (Memoirs, etc., vol. iii. p. 166). November 17, 
1820: "Went in with Bessy to Mulock's lecture. Absurd and 
" false from beginning to end. Dryden was no poet ; Butler had 


upon Christianity, to convert me ; and, if I had not been 
a Christian already, I should probably have been now, 
in consequence. I thought there was something of wild 
talent in him, mixed with a due leaven of absurdity, as 
there must be in all talent, let loose upon the world, 
without a martingale. 

The ministers seem still to persecute the Queen 
* * * . b^ they won >f g O ou t } th e sons o f b es> Damn 

Reform I want a place what say you ? You must 
applaud the honesty of the declaration, whatever you 
may think of the intention. 

I have quantities of paper in England, original and 
translated tragedy, etc., etc., and am now copying out a 
fifth canto of Don Juan, 149 stanzas. So that there will 
be near three thin Albemarle, or two thick volumes of all 
sorts of my Muses. I mean to plunge thick, too, into 
the contest upon Pope, and to lay about me like a dragon 
till I make manure of Bowles for the top of Parnassus. 

These rogues are right we do laugh at fathers eh ? 
don't we ? l You shall see you shall see what things 

" no originality ; and Locke was ' of the school of the devil, 1 both 
"in his philosophy, politics, and Christianity" (ibid., p. 169). 
December n, 1820 : " Went into town to Mulock's lecture. Find 
" that he praised me in his discourse on the living poets, the other 
"day, exceedingly; set me at the head of them all, near Lord 
" Byron, who, he says, is the only person in the world who seems 
" to have any proper notion of religion ! In alluding to Lalla 
" Rookh, he said, 'As for his Persian poem (I forget the name of 
"it), I really never could read it.' The lecture to-day upon evan- 
" gelical literature and religion in general ; mere verbiage " (ibid., 
p. 1 78). Mulock's faith in Byron's religious feeling was not shaken 
by Cain. His letter to the Morning Post and " Lines to Lord 
" Byron " therefore seem worth quoting. See Appendix IV. 

I. " He here alludes to a humorous article, of which I had told 
" him, in Blackwood's Magazine, where the poets of the day were all 
" grouped together in a variety of fantastic shapes, with ' Lord Byron 
" and little Moore laughing behind, as if they would split,' at the 
"rest of the fraternity " (Moore). The quotation is from " Shuffle- 
" botham's Dream " (Blackwood's Edinburgh. Magazine for October, 
1820, pp. 3-7). 

1820.] MURDER OF DEL PINTO. 133 

I'll say, an' it pleases Providence to leave us leisure. 
But in these parts they are all going to war ; and there is 
to be liberty, and a row, and a constitution when they 
can get them. But I won't talk politics it is low. Let 
us talk of the Queen, and her bath, and her bottle that's 
the only motley nowadays. 

If there are any acquaintances of mine, salute them. 
The priests here are trying to persecute me, but no 

Yours, etc. 

851. To Thomas Moore. 

Ravenna, Dec. 9, 1820. 

I open my letter to tell you a fact, 1 which will show 
the state of this country better than I can. The com- 
mandant of the troops is now lying dead in my house. 
He was shot at a little past eight o'clock, about two 
hundred paces from my door. 2 I was putting on my 
great-coat to visit Madame la Contessa G. when I heard 
the shot. On coming into the hall, I found all my 
servants on the balcony, exclaiming that a man was 
murdered. I immediately ran down, calling on Tita 
(the bravest of them) to follow me. The rest wanted to 

1. " The other evening ('twas on Friday last) 

This is a fact, and no poetic fable 
Just as my great coat was about me cast, 

My hat and gloves still lying on the table, 
I heard a shot 'twas eight o'clock scarce past 

And running out as fast as I was able, 
I found the military commandant 
Stretch'd in the street, and able scarce to pant." 

Don yuan, Canto V. stanza xxxiii. 
The commandant's name was Del Pinto (Moore's Life, p. 472). 

2. From information given to Mr. Richard Edgcumbe by Sante 
Savini, who was living at Ravenna at the time, the murder took 
place at the corner of the street leading out of the present Via 
Cavour to the Church of San Vitale. 


hinder us from going, as it is the custom for every body 
here, it seems, to nm away from " the stricken deer." 

However, down we ran, and found him lying on his 
back, almost, if not quite, dead, with five wounds ; one 
in the heart, two in the stomach, one in the finger, and 
the other in the arm. Some soldiers cocked their guns, 
and wanted to hinder me from passing. However, we 
passed, and I found Diego, the adjutant, crying over him 
like a child a surgeon, who said nothing of his pro- 
fession a priest, sobbing a frightened prayer and the 
commandant, all this time, on his back, on the hard, cold 
pavement, without light or assistance, or any thing around 
him but confusion and dismay. 

As nobody could, or would, do any thing but howl 
and pray, and as no one would stir a finger to move him, 
for fear of consequences, I lost my patience made my 
servant and a couple of the mob take up the body sent 
off two soldiers to the guard despatched Diego to the 
Cardinal with the news, and had the commandant carried 
upstairs into my own quarter. 1 But it was too late, he 
was gone not at all disfigured bled inwardly not 
above an ounce or two came out. 

I had him partly stripped made the surgeon examine 
him, and examined him myself. He had been shot by 
cut balls or slugs. I felt one of the slugs, which had 
gone through him, all but the skin. Everybody con- 
jectures why he was killed, but no one knows how. The 
gun was found close by him an old gun, half filed down. 

He only said, Dio ! and Gesu ! two or three times, 

I. " Poor fellow ! for some reason, surely bad, 

They had slain him with five slugs, and left him there 
To perish on the pavement : so I had 

Him borne into the house, and up the stair, 
And stripp'd and look'd to," etc. 

Don Juan, Canto V. stanza xxxiv. 

1 820.] A QUEER PEOPLE. 135 

and appeared to have suffered very little. Poor fellow ! 
he was a brave officer, but had made himself much dis- 
liked by the people. I knew him personally, and had 
met with him often at conversazioni and elsewhere. My 
house is full of soldiers, dragoons, doctors, priests, and 
all kinds of persons, though I have now cleared it, 
and clapt sentinels at the doors. To-morrow the body 
is to be moved. The town is in the greatest confusion, 
as you may suppose. 

You are to know that, if I had not had the body 
moved, they would have left him there till morning in 
the street, for fear of consequences. I would not choose 
to let even a dog die in such a manner, without succour : 
and, as for consequences, I care for none in a duty. 

Yours, etc. 

P.S. The lieutenant on duty by the body is smoking 
his pipe with great composure. A queer people this. 

852. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, D"? 9^ 1820. 

DEAR MURRAY, I intended to have written to you 
at some length by this post, but as the Military Com- 
mandant is now lying dead in my house, on Fletcher's 
bed, I have other things to think of. 

He was shot at 8 o'Clock this evening about two 
hundred paces from our door. I was putting on my 
great Coat to pay a visit to the Countess G., when I 
heard a shot, and on going into the hall, found all my 
servants on the balcony exclaiming that "a Man was 
"murdered." As it is the custom here to let people 
fight it through, they wanted to hinder me from going 
out ; but I ran down into the Street : Tita, the bravest 
of them, followed me ; and we made our way to the 


Commandant, who was lying on his back, with five wounds, 
of which three in the body one in the heart. There 
were about him Diego, his Adjutant, crying like a Child ; 
a priest howling ; a Surgeon who dared not touch him ; 
two or three confused and frightened Soldiers; one or 
two of the boldest of the mob ; and the Street dark as 
pitch, with the people flying in all directions. As Diego 
could only cry and wring his hands, and the Priest could 
only pray, and nobody seemed able or willing to do any- 
thing except exclaim, shake and stare, I made my Servant 
and one of the mob take up the body ; sent off Diego 
crying to the Cardinal, the Soldiers for the Guard ; and 
had the Commandant conveyed up Stairs to my own 
quarters. But he was quite gone. I made the Surgeon 
examine him, and examined him myself. He had bled 
inwardly, and very little external blood was apparent. 
One of the Slugs had gone quite through all but the 
Skin : I felt it myself. Two more shots in the body, one 
in a finger, and another in the arm. His face not at all 
disfigured : he seems asleep, but is growing livid. The 
Assassin has not been taken ; but the gun was found a 
gun filed down to half the barrel. 

He said nothing but O Dio I and Gesu two or 
three times. 

The house was filled at last with Soldiers, officers, 
police, and military ; but they are clearing away all but 
the Sentinels, and the body is to be removed tomorrow. 
It seems that, if I had not had him taken into my house, 
he might have lain in the Streets till morning ; as here 
nobody meddles with such things, for fear of the con- 
sequences either of public suspicion, or private revenge 
on the part of the Slayers. They may do as they please : 
I shall never be deterred from a duty of humanity by all 
the assassins of Italy, and that is a wide word. 


He was a brave officer, but an unpopular man. The 
whole town is in confusion. 

You may judge better of things here by this detail, 
than by anything which I could add on the Subject: 
communicate this letter to Hobhouse and Douglas K?, 
and believe me 

Yours ever truly, 

P.S. The poor Man's wife is not yet aware of his 
death : they are to break it to her in the morning. 

The Lieutenant, who is watching the body, is smoak- 
ing with the greatest Sangfroid: a strange people. 

853. To John Murray. 

Ra iQbre , o? ig 2o> 

D? M., I wrote to you by last post. Acknow- 
ledge that and this letter, which you are requested to 
forward immediately. 

Yours truly, 

P.S. I have finished fifth Canto of D. J. ; l 143 
Stanzas. So prepare. 

854. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, lo br f 14? 1820. 

DEAR MORAY, As it is a month since I have had 
any packets of proofs, I suppose some must have mis- 
carried. Today I had a letter from Rogers? 

1. Canto V. of Don Juan, begun October 1 6, 1820, was published 
with Cantos III., IV., at the end of 1821, anonymously. 

2. The following is the letter from Rogers. By his allusion to 
an " Eastern Tale," he refers to an unpublished portion of Vathfk, 


The fifth Canto of D. J. is now under copy : it con- 
sists of 151 Stanzas. I want to know what the devil you 
mean to do ? 

which Beckford had read to him at Fonthill, and the loan of which 
Byron asked in his letter to Rogers of March 3, 1818 (Letters, 
vol. iv. p. 209, note l). "Kalilah and his sister" are among the 
persons whom Vathek and Nouronihar meet in the Halls of Eblis, 
and the history of Kalilah and Zulkais, as Beckford told Redding, 
was among the episodes written for insertion in Vathek (see Dr. 
Garnett's Introduction to Vathek, ed. 1893, p. v.) : 

" London, NoV 23, 1820. 

" MY DEAR BYRON, In the 78 th year of the Hegyra 1120 years 

' and some odd months ago I received a very delightful letter from 

' Venice to which I have written at least fifty answers, answers 

' regularly consigned with a Psha ! to that element to which Virgil 

' and Tasso condemned things of a little more value. I am now 

' however (under the influence of a yellow fog) resolved to inflict 

"upon you whatever comes first. Moore might have told you of 

"still more serious designs against your peace last year. I had 

' ' taken out my pass-book and said goodbye to my friends, when the 

"sea suddenly struck me as unnavigable, the Alps as impassable, 

"and a bilious fit came on that nothing could remove but calomel 

'and nitrous acid. Next year however I am determined to find 

' you out, co&te gue cozite, and pour into your ear a thousand things 

' I cannot write. Your commission with regard to certain un- 

' imaginable fancies in the shape of an Eastern Tale, the Loves of 

' Kalilah and Zulkais, I executed most faithfully would I could 

' say successfully ; he hesitated, half consented and concluded with 

' saying that he hoped they would induce you to venture within the 

' walls of his Abbey the place of their birth, and from which they 

'had never wandered. His daughter is now on her way to the 

' Rospigliosi Palace at Rome, and I have half promised to eat my 

' Christmas dinner with her there in the hall of the Aurora but 

' alas ! Last night I had a long conversation on a sofa with a 

"person you must remember well Lady W" Russell. It was at 

" the eleventh hour. How were you employed at that moment, for 

"she was speaking of you? London saw all the Poets this year 

"but two, Moore and another. Campbell is just now at Bonn on 

"the Rhine. Wordsworth returned last week from a journey up 

"that noble river to Switzerland and the Italian Lakes. Southey 

" is printing a Poem and a Life ; Scott, his Kcnilworth Castle. 

" What Moore is about you may know better than I do ; I hope he 

" will soon be as free as air. Frere is gone by sea to Malta with a 

'sick wife. An article in the last Quarterly on Mitchell's Aristo- 

1 phanes is his. Lord Holland is again on his crutches, but as gay 

'as ever. He desires to be most kindly remembered to you. 

' What is to become of Naples ? of England ? Of the last you know 

' at least as much as we do. Whether the Ministers go out whether 

1 820.] RISK OF A MASSACRE. 139 

By last post I wrote to you, detailing the murder of 
the Commandant here. I picked him up shot in the 
Street at 8 in the Evening; and perceiving that his 
adjutant and the Soldiers about him had lost their heads 
completely with rage and alarm, I carried him to my 
house, where he lay a corpse till next day, when they 
removed him. Did you receive this my letter? They 
thought a row was coming and indeed it was likely in 
which the Soldiers would have been massacred. As I 
am well with the Liberals of the Country, it was another 
reason for me to succour them; for I thought that, in 
case of a tumult, I could, by my personal influence with 
some of the popular Chiefs, protect these surrounded 
soldiers, who are but five or six hundred against five and 
twenty thousand : and you see, few as they are, that they 
keep picking them off daily. It is as dangerous for that, 
as ever it was in the middle ages. They are a fierce 
people, and at present roused ; and the end no one can 

As you don't deserve a longer letter, nor any letter at 
all, I conclude. 


' the Queen is to have a palace or a vote of censure whether the 
' King is ill or well comfortable or miserable, dying or love-sick I 
' know no more than old Ali blockaded in his tower. Farewell, 
' my dear Byron ; very soon I shall write again, for I have no more 
' right to a letter from you than to the crown of Persia. Farewell, 
' and believe me to be 

" Ever yours very affectionately, 


"The report of your being seen in a curricle in Parliament Street 
' produced as great a sensation as her Majesty's first appearance, 
' and I am very sure you would have been as warmly welcomed. 
' The world is on tiptoe to see you in any shape. In the mean 
' time a forgery or two is issuing from the press to gratify the most 
' impatient." 


P.S. The Officers came in a body to thank me, etc., 
etc. ; but they might as well have let it alone ; for, in the 
first place, it was but for a common act of decency, and, 
in the next, their coming may put me in odium with the 
liberals ; and, in that case, it would do them no good, 
nor me either. 

The other night (since the assassination), Fletcher was 
stopped three times in the Street ; but, on perceiving who 
he was, they apologized and bade him pass on: the 
querists were probably on the look out for Somebody ; 
they are very indefatigable in such researches. 

Send me proofs of tJie Hints ; that I may correct them 
or alter. You are losing (like a Goose) the best time 
for publishing the Dante and the Tragedy : now is the 
moment for Italian subjects. 

855. To Francis Hodgson. 

Ravenna, io b . re 22, 1820. 

MY DEAR HODGSON, My sister tells me that you 
desire to hear from me. I have not written to you since 
I left England, nearly five years ago. I have no excuse 
for this silence except laziness, which is none. Where I 
am my date will tell you ; what I have been doing would 
but little interest you, as it regards another country 
and another people, and would be almost speaking 
another language, for my own is not quite so familiar to 
me as it used to be. 

We have here the sepulchre of Dante and the forest 
of Dryden and Boccaccio, all in very poetical preserva- 
tion. I ride and write, and have here some Italian 
friends and connections of both sexes, horses and dogs, 
and the usual means and appliances of life, which passes 
chequered as usual (and with all) with good and evil. 

1820.] St)ME OLD FRIENDS. 141 

Few English pass by this place, and none remain, which 
renders it a much more eligible residence for a man who 
would rather see them in England than out of it ; they 
are best at home ; for out of it they but raise the price of 
the necessaries and vices of other countries, and carry 
little back to their own, except such things as you have 
lately seen and heard of in the Queen's trial. 

Your friend Denman * is making a figure. I am glad 
of it ; he had all the auguries of a superior man about 
him before I left the country. Hobhouse is a Radical, 
and is doing great things in that somewhat violent line of 
politics. His intellect will bear him out ; but, though I 
do not disapprove of his cause, I by no means envy him 
his company. Our friend Scrope 2 is dished, diddled, and 
done up ; what he is our mutual friends have written to 
me somewhat more coldly than I think our former con- 
nections with him warrant : but where he is I know not, 
for neither they nor he have informed me. Remember 
me to Harry Drury. He wrote to me a year ago to 
subscribe to the Harrow New School erection ; 3 but 
my name has not now value enough to be placed among 

1. Thomas Denman (1779-1854), created (1834) first Lord Denman, 
and Lord Chief Justice (1832), defended the queen as her solicitor- 
general, though his unfortunate peroration, alluding to the story of 
the woman taken in adultery, gave rise to the epigram 

" Most gracious queen, we thee implore 
To go away and sin no more ; 
Or, if that effort be too great, 
To go away at any rate." 

A brilliant scholar, Denman had been a member of a "social club 
"or circle," to which Hodgson, Drury, Bland, Merivale, and others 

2. For Scrope Davies, see Letters, vol. i. p. 165, note 2. Ruined 
at play, he had escaped to the Continent. 

3. In 1819 and 1820, at a cost of upwards of ^5000, a new wing, 
containing speech-room, class-rooms, and library, was added to the 
old School. Harrow School (1898), edited by E. W. Howson 
and G. T. Warner, p. 33. 


my old schoolfellows, and as to the trifle which can come 
from a solitary subscriber, that is not worth mentioning. 
Some zealous politicians wrote to me to come over to 
the Queen's trial ; it was a business with which I should 
have been sorry to have had anything to do ; in which 
they who voted her guilty cut but a dirty figure. . . . 
Such a coroner's inquest upon criminal conversation has 
nothing very alluring in it, and I was obliged to her for 
personal civilities (when in England), and would there- 
fore rather avoid sitting in judgment upon her, either for 
guilt or innocence, as it is an ungracious office. 

Murray sent me your Friends, which I thought 
very good and classical. The scoundrels of scribblers 
are trying to run down Pope, but I hope in vain. It is 
my intention to take up the cudgels in that controversy, 
and to do my best to keep the Swan of Thames in his 
true place. This comes of Southey and Wordsworth and 
such renegade rascals with their systems. I hope you 
will not be silent ; it is the common concern of all men 
of common sense, imagination, and a musical ear. I 
have already written somewhat thereto and shall do 
more, and will not strike soft blows in a battle. You 
will have seen that the Quarterly has had the sense and 
spirit to support Pope in an article upon Bowles; it 
is a good beginning. I do not know the author of that 
article, but I suspect Israeli, an indefatigable and an able 
writer. What are you about poetry? I direct to 
Bakewell, but I do not know for certain. To save you 
a double letter, I close this with the present sheet. 

Yours ever, 


856. To Thomas Moore. 

Ravenna, Dec. 25, 1820. 

You will or ought to have received the packet and 
letters which I remitted to your address a fortnight ago 
(or it may be more days), and I shall be glad of an 
answer, as, in these times and places, packets per post 
are in some risk of not reaching their destination. 

I have been thinking of a project for you and me, in 
case we both get to London again, which (if a Neapolitan 
war don't suscitate) may be calculated as possible for one 
of us about the spring of 1821. I presume that you, too, 
will be back by that time, or never ; but on that you will 
give me some index. The project, then, is for you and 
me to set up jointly a newspaper^ nothing more nor less 
weekly, or so, with some improvement or modifications 
upon the plan of the present scoundrels, who degrade 
that department, but a newspaper, which we will edite in 
due form, and, nevertheless, with some attention. 

There must always be in it a piece of poesy from one 
or other of us two, leaving room, however, for such 
dilettanti rhymers as may be deemed worthy of appearing 
in the same column : but this must be a sine q^^a non ; 
and also as much prose as we can compass. We will 
take an office our names not announced, but suspected 
and, by the blessing of Providence, give the age some 
new lights upon policy, poesy, biography, criticism, 
morality, theology, and all other ism, ality, and ology 

I. Moore, in his Diary, January 12, 1821, says, "A letter from 
' ' Lord Byron yesterday ; in which he tells me of his intention to 
" visit England next spring, and proposes (as a means of paying my 
"debts) that he and I should set up a newspaper together on his 
"arrival there" (Memoirs, etc., vol. iii. p. 189; see also ibid., p. 
285). In 1812 Moore had made the same proposal to Byron. 


Why, man, if we were to take to this in good 
earnest, your debts would be paid off in a twelvemonth, 
and, by dint of a little diligence and practice, I doubt 
not that we could distance the common-place black- 
guards who have so long disgraced common sense and 
the common reader. They have no merit but practice 
and impudence, both of which we may acquire ; and, as 
for talent and culture, the devil's in't if such proofs as 
we have given of both can't furnish out something better 
than the "funeral baked meats" which have coldly set 
forth the breakfast table of all Great Britain for so many 
years. Now, what think you? Let me know; and 
recollect that, if we take to such an enterprise, we must 
do so in good earnest. Here is a hint, do you make it 
a plan. We will modify it into as literary and classical a 
concern as you please, only let us put out our powers 
upon it, and it will most likely succeed. But you must 
live in London, and I also, to bring it to bear, and we 
must keep it a secret. 

As for the living in London, I would make that not 
difficult to you (if you would allow me), until we could 
see whether one means or other (the success of the plan, 
for instance) would not make it quite easy for you, as 
well as your family; and, in any case, we should have 
some fun, composing, correcting, supposing, inspecting, 
and supping together over our lucubrations. If you 
think this worth a thought, let me know, and I will begin 
to lay in a small literary capital of composition for the 

Yours ever affectionately, 

P.S. If you thought of a middle plan between a Spec- 
tator and a newspaper, why not ? only not on a Sunday. 



Not that Sunday is not an excellent day, but it is engaged 
already. We will call it the " Tenda Rossa," * the name 
Tassoni gave an answer of his in a controversy, in allusion 
to the delicate hint of Timour the Lame, to his enemies, 
by a " Tenda " of that colour, before he gave battle. Or 
we will call it Git, or / Carbonari, if it so please you 
or any other name full of " pastime and prodigality," 
which you may prefer. * * Let me have an 
answer. I conclude poetically, with the bellman, "A 
" merry Christmas to you ! " 

857. To John Murray. 

R? i i>r e 28 1820. 

D* M., I have had no communication from you 
of any kind since the second reading of the Queen's bill. 
I write merely to apprize you that, by this Post, I have 
transmitted to Mr. Douglas Kinnaird the fifth Canto of 
Don Juan ; and you will apply (if so disposed) to him 
for it. It consists of 155 Octave Stanzas, with a few 

I wrote to you several times, and told you of the 

I . Alessandro Tassoni ( 1 565-1635), a native of Modena, published, 
in 1622, La Secchia Rapita, a mock-heroic poem, which was the 
forerunner of Boileau's Lutrin and Pope's Rape of tlie Lock. The 
allusion is explained by the following extract from the Vita di 
Alessandro Tassoni (p. xxiv. ) of Muratori : 

" Al veder questo nuovo assalto comincie il Tassoni a perder la 
' pazienza, e montogli la senape al naso. II perche preso 1'esempio 
' di Tamerlano, che nelle sue guerre, ed assedi esponeva prima una 
' Tenda bianca in segno di general perdono ; nell' altro dl una 
' Tenda rossa per indizio di morte a chi avesse preso 1'armi contra 
' di lui, e nel terzo dl una Tenda ncra per segno di un totale ester- 
'minio d' ogni sesso, ed eta : pubblico anch' egli nell 1 anno 1613 
' un Libro in Modena (benche nel Frontispizio si legga in Fran- 
' cofort) con questo titolo : Tenda Rossa, risposta di Girolamo 
Nomisenti a i Dialoghi di Falcidio Melampodio." 

VOL. V. L 


various events, assassinations, etc., which have occurred 
here. War is certain. If you write, write soon. 


P.S. Did you receive two letters, etc., from Galig- 
nani to me, which I enclosed to you long ago ? I sup- 
pose your answer must have been intercepted, as they 
were of importance to you, and you would naturally have 
acknowledged their arrival. 



FEBRUARY 27, 1 82 1. 

Ravenna, January 4, 1821. 

" A SUDDEN thought strikes me." Let me begin a Journal 
once more. The last I kept was in Switzerland, in 
record of a tour made in the Bernese Alps, which I 
made to send to my sister in 1816, and I suppose that 
she has it still, for she wrote to me that she was pleased 
with it. Another, and longer, I kept in 1813-1814, 
which I gave to Thomas Moore in the same year. 

This morning I gat me up late, as usual weather 
bad bad as England worse. The snow of last week 
melting to the sirocco of to-day, so that there were two 
damned things at once. Could not even get to ride on 
horseback in the forest. Stayed at home all the morning 
looked at the fire wondered when the post would 
come. Post came at the Ave Maria, instead of half-past 
one o'clock, as it ought. Galignani's Messengers, six in 
number a letter from Faenza, but none from England. 
Very sulky in consequence (for there ought to have been 
letters), and ate in consequence a copious dinner; for 
when I am vexed, it makes me swallow quicker but 
drank very little. 

I was out of spirits read the papers thought what 
fame was, on reading, in a case of murder, that "Mr, 



" Wych, grocer, at Tunb ridge, sold some bacon, flour, 
" cheese, and, it is believed, some plums, to some gipsy 
" woman accused. He had on his counter (I quote faith- 
" fully) a book, the Life of Pamela, which he was tearing 
" for waste paper, etc., etc. In the cheese was found, etc., 
" and a leaf of Pamela wrapt round tfic bacon" What 
would Richardson, 1 the vainest and luckiest of living 

I. Samuel Richardson (1689-1761) used to say of Fielding that 
"had he not known who Fielding was, he should have believed he 
"was an ostler " (Boswell's Life of Johnson, ed. G. B. Hill, vol. ii. 
p. 174). In his Correspondence (vol. vi. p. 154) he says, " Poor 
"Fielding! I could not help telling his sister that I was equally 
"surprised at and concerned for his continued lowness." Again, 
writing to Mrs. Donnellan, February 22, 1752, Richardson says 
(ibid,, vol. iv. p. 59), " Mr. Fielding has over-written himself, or 
"rather under-written ; and in his own journal seems ashamed of 
"his last piece; and has promised that the same Muse shall write 
" no more for him. The piece, in short, is as dead as if it had 
" been published forty years ago, as to sale." 

Speaking of Richardson's vanity, Dr. Johnson told Mrs. Piozzi 
(Atitobiography of Mrs. Piozzi, ed. Hay ward, vol. i. p. 311) that 
Richardson ' ' died merely from want of change among his flatterers ; 
"he perished for want of more, like a man obliged to breathe the 
"same air till it is exhausted." 

Boswell illustrates the same feature in Richardson's character in 
the following note (Life of Dr. Johnson, vol. iv. pp. 28, 29, note 7) : 
" One day at his country house at Northend, where a large company 
" was assembled at dinner, a gentleman who was just returned from 
" Paris, willing to please Mr. Richardson, mentioned to him a 
" very flattering circumstance, that he had seen his Clarissa lying on 
" the King's brother's table. Richardson, observing that part of the 
"company were engaged in talking to each other, affected then not 
" to attend to it. But by and by, when there was a general silence, 
" and he thought that the flattery might be fully heard, he addressed 
" himself to the gentleman, ' I think, sir, you were saying something 

"about ' pausing in a high flutter of expectation. The gentle- 

" man, provoked at his inordinate vanity, resolved not to indulge it, 
"and with an exquisitely sly air of indifference, answered, 'A mere 
"trifle, sir, not worth repeating.' " 

Among Richardson's flatterers was Aaron Hill (1685-1750), 
whose correspondence with Pope is published in Pope's Works, ed. 
Courthope, vol. x. pp. 1-78. He gratified Richardson, as well as his 
own feelings, by abusing Pope. Thus, writing, September 10, 1 744, to 
Richardson, he says, "Mr. Pope, as you with equal keenness and 
" propriety express it, is gone out. I told a friend of his, who sent 
" me the first news of it, that I was very sorry for his death, because 
" I doubted whether he would live to recover the accident. Indeed, 


authors (i.e. while alive) he who, with Aaron Hill, used 
to prophesy and chuckle over the presumed fall of 
Fielding l (the prose Homer of human nature) and of 
Pope (the most beautiful of poets) what would he have 
said, could he have traced his pages from their place on 
the French prince's toilets (see Boswell's Johnson) to the 
grocer's counter and the gipsy-murderess's bacon ! ! ! 

What would he have said ? What can any body say, 
save what Solomon said long before us ? After all, it is 
but passing from one counter to another, from the book- 
seller's to the other tradesman's grocer or pastry-cook. 
For my part, I have met with most poetry upon trunks ; 
so that I am apt to consider the trunk-maker as the 
sexton of authorship. 

Wrote five letters in about half an hour, short and 
savage, to all my rascally correspondents. Carriage 
came. Heard the news of three murders at Faenza and 
Forli a carabinier, a smuggler, and an attorney all 
last night. The two first in a quarrel, the latter by 

Three weeks ago almost a month the 7th it was 
I picked up the commandant, mortally wounded, out of 

" it gives me no surprise, to find you thinking he was in the wane of 
"his popularity. It arose, originally, but from meditated little per- 
"sonal assiduities, and a certain bladdery swell of management." 

I. Byron admired Fielding's democratic spirit. See Detached 
Thoughts, No. 116. Johnson (Boswell's Life, ed. G. B. Hill, vol. ii. 
p. 48), comparing Fielding with Richardson, says, " There is all 
' the difference in the world between characters of nature and 
' characters of manners ; and there is the difference between the 
' characters of Fielding and those of Richardson." He disparaged 
Melding as much as he admired Richardson. 

On the other hand, S. T. Coleridge exclaims, "What a 
'master of composition Fielding was ! Upon my word, I think 
' the CEdipus Tyrannus, the Alchemist, and Tom Jones, the three 
' most perfect plots ever planned. And how charming, how whole- 
'some, Fielding always is! To take him up after Richardson is 
'like emerging from a sick-room, heated by stoves, into an open 
'lawn, on a breezy day in May." Table Talk (July 5, 1834). 


the street ; he died in my house ; assassins unknown, but 
presumed political. His brethren wrote from Rome last 
night to thank me for having assisted him in his last 
moments. Poor fellow ! it was a pity ; he was a good 
soldier, but imprudent. It was eight in the evening 
when they killed him. We heard the shot ; my servants 
and I ran out, and found him expiring, with five wounds, 
two whereof mortal by slugs they seemed. I examined 
him, but did not go to the dissection next morning. 

Carriage at 8 or so went to visit La Contessa G. 
found her playing on the piano-forte talked till ten, 
when the Count, her father, and the no less Count, her 
brother, came in from the theatre. Play, they said, 
Alfieri's Fileppo x well received. 

Two days ago the King of Naples passed through 
Bologna on his way to congress. 2 My servant Luigi 

1. Alfieri's 'Fileppo appeared in 1783. The scene is laid at Madrid, 
in 1568. Philip II., Don Carlos, and Elizabeth daughter of 
Henry II. of France, once betrothed to Don Carlos, but afterwards 
the third wife of Philip II., are the principal characters. Ranieri 
de' Calsabigi, writing to Alfieri, August 20, 1783, calls Philip 
"the Spanish Tiberius," and quotes Tacitus's description of the 
emperor, Alfieri, in his reply, September 6, 1783, accepts the 
parallel and the model. Possibly this correspondence may have 
suggested to Byron the choice of Tiberius (see p. 189) as a subject for 
a play. 

2. That is, to the Congress at Laybach. After the outbreak of the 
Spanish Revolution of March, 1820, the Czar (April 18) proposed 
that the sovereigns of Europe should jointly intervene to uphold 
monarchical principles. The opposition of England prevented inter- 
vention ; but the project was revived after the Neapolitan Revolution 
in July, 1820. Though England again protested, a meeting of 
sovereigns was arranged at Troppau, in Bohemia, in October. 
There the Czar, the Emperor of Austria, and the Prince of Prussia 
sanctioned the principle of joint intervention by the three allied 
sovereigns to resist, and, if necessary, suppress, all popular changes. 
This principle was to be at once applied in the case of Naples. On 
the invitation of the allied sovereigns, King Ferdinand of Naples 
met them at Laybach, in Carniola, in January, 1821. By a letter, 
which reached Naples February q, the Duke of Calabria, as viceroy, 
was informed that these Powers would not tolerate a constitution 
sprung from revolution, and that, as a pledge of order, the country 


brought the news. I had sent him to Bologna for a lamp. 
How will it end ? Time will show. 

Came home at eleven, or rather before. If the road 
and weather are comfortable, mean to ride to-morrow. 
High time almost a week at this work snow, sirocco, 
one day frost and snow the other sad climate for Italy. 
But the two seasons, last and present, are extraordinary. 
Read a Life of Leonardo da Vinci by Rossi l ruminated 
wrote this much, and will go to bed. 

January 5, 1821. 

Rose late dull and drooping the weather dripping 
and dense. Snow on the ground, and sirocco above in 
the sky, like yesterday. Roads up to the horse's belly, 
so that riding (at least for pleasure) is not very feasible. 
Added a postscript to my letter to Murray. Read the 
conclusion, for the fiftieth time (I have read all W. Scott's 
novels at least fifty times), of the third series of Tales of 
my Landlord grand work Scotch Fielding, as well as 
great English poet wonderful man ! I long to get 
drunk with him. 

Dined versus six o' the clock. Forgot that there was 
a plum-pudding, (I have added, lately, eating to my 
" family of vices,") and had dined before I knew it. 
Drank half a bottle of some sort of spirits probably 
spirits of wine; for what they call brandy, rum, etc., etc., 
here is nothing but spirits of wine, coloured accordingly. 
Did not eat two apples, which were placed by way of 

would be occupied by an Austrian army. Three days before the 
arrival of the letter, the Austrians had crossed the Po (February 6). 
For Byron's address to the Neapolitan insurgents, see Appendix V. 
I. Possibly Bossi should be read for Rossi. There are two 
books by Giuseppe Bossi, the painter, on Leonardo da Vinci : (i) 
Del Cetiacolo di Leonardo da Vinci, Libri quattro, Milano, 1 8 IO, fol. 
(2) Delle Opinioni di Leonardo da Vinci intorno alia simmelria de' 
corpiumani, discorso, Milano, i8n,/0/. 


dessert. Fed the two cats, the hawk, and the tame (but 
not tamed) crow. Read Mitford's History of Greece 1 
Xenophon's Retreat of the Ten Thousand. Up to this 
present moment writing, 6 minutes before eight o' the 
clock French hours, not Italian. 

Hear the carriage order pistols and great coat, as 
usual necessary articles. Weather cold carriage open, 
and inhabitants somewhat savage rather treacherous 
and highly inflamed by politics. 2 Fine fellows, though, 
good materials for a nation. Out of chaos God made 
a world, and out of high passions comes a people. 

Clock strikes going out to make love. Somewhat 
perilous, but not disagreeable. Memorandum a new 
screen put up to-day. It is rather antique, but will do 
with a little repair. 

Thaw continues hopeful that riding may be prac- 
ticable to-morrow. Sent the papers to All 1 . grand events 

no' the clock and nine minutes. Visited La Con- 
tessa G[uiccioli] nata G[hisleri] G[amba]. Found her 
beginning my letter of answer to the thanks of Alessio 
del Pinto of Rome for assisting his brother the late 
Commandant in his last moments, as I had begged her 
to pen my reply for the purer Italian, I being an ultra- 
montane, little skilled in the set phrase of Tuscany. Cut 
short the letter finish it another day. Talked of Italy, 

1. William Mitford (1744-1827) published \\isflistoiy of Greece 
in 1784-1810. For Byron's opinion of the book, see Don Jitan, 
Canto XII. stanza xix. note. " His great pleasure consists in praising 
" tyrants, abusing Plutarch, spelling oddly, and writing quaintly : 
"and, what is strange, after all, his is the best modern history of 
" Greece in any language, and he is the best, perhaps, of all modern 
"historians whatsoever," etc., etc. 

2. Antonio Canonico Tarlazzi (1801-1891), a native of Ravenna, 
who remembered Byron well, told Mr. Richard Edgcumbe that 
Byron used to meet the " Young Italy" party at night at the Osttria 

i now pulled down, outside the Porta San Mamante. 


patriotism, Alfieri, Madame Albany, 1 and other branches 
of learning. Also Sallust's Conspiracy of Catiline, and 
the War of Jugurtha. At 9 came in her brother, II 
Conte Pietro at 10, her father, Conte Ruggiero. 

Talked of various modes of warfare of the Hun- 
garian and Highland modes of broad-sword exercise, in 
both whereof I was once a moderate " master of fence." 
Settled that the R. will break out on the yth or 8th of 
March, in which appointment I should trust, had it not 
been settled that it was to have broken out in October, 
1820. But those Bolognese shirked the Romagnuoles. 

" It is all one to Ranger." 2 One must not be par- 
ticular, but take rebellion when it lies in the way. Come 
home read the Ten Thousand again, and will go to bed. 

Mem. Ordered Fletcher (at four o'clock this after- 
noon) to copy out seven or eight apophthegms of Bacon, 3 
in which I have detected such blunders as a schoolboy 
might detect rather than commit. Such are the sages ! 
What must they be, when such as I can stumble on their 
mistakes or misstatements ? I will go to bed, for I find 
that I grow cynical. 

1. The Comtesse d'Albany, tde Stolberg (1753-1824), married in 
1772 the Young Pretender, Charles Edward Stuart, whom she left 
in 1780. She lived with Alfieri from about 1780, in Rome, at 
Paris, and, after the outbreak of the French Revolution, at Florence. 
It has been said that, on the death of Charles Edward, in 1788, she 
was married to Alfieri ; but of this there is little or no evidence. 
On the other hand, her influence on his literary work as a clever 
well-read woman, half French, half German, was undoubtedly great. 
After Alfieri's death, in 1803, she attached herself to Frar^ois 
Fabre, a French painter, to whom she left the library and manu- 
scripts of Alfieri. Of her salon at Florence an account is given in 
the Life of George Ticknor, vol. i. pp. 183, 184. 

2. In The Suspicious Husband (17 47) by Benjamin Hoadly, act v. 
sc. 2, "Ranger" says, "Up mounted I; and up I should have 
" gone, if it had been in the garret it's all one to Ranger." 

3. See Appendix VI. 


January 6, 1821. 

Mist thaw slop rain. No stirring out on horse- 
back. Read Spence's Anecdotes. Pope a fine fellow 
always thought him so. Corrected blunders in nine 
apophthegms of Bacon all historical and read Mitford's 
Greece. Wrote an epigram. Turned to a passage in 
Guinguene' 1 ditto in Lord Holland's Lope de Vega? 
Wrote a note on Don Juan. 

At eight went out to visit. Heard a little music 
like music. Talked with Count Pietro G. of the Italian 
comedian Vestris, who is now at Rome have seen him 
often act in Venice a good actor very. Somewhat of 
a mannerist ; but excellent in broad comedy, as well as 
in the sentimental pathetic. He has made me frequently 

1. Pierre Louis Ginguene (1748-1816), who under the Republic 
was French ambassador at Turin, began to publish his Histoire 
Litteraire de Cltalie, in i8li. The work, completed by Salfi, 
occupies 14 volumes, 1811-35. 

2. "Till Voltaire appeared, there was no nation more ignorant of 
1 its neighbours' literature than the French. He first exposed, and 
' then corrected, this neglect in his countrymen. There is no writer 
' to whom the authors of other nations, especially of England, are 
' so indebted for the extension of their fame in France, and, through 
' France, in Europe. There is no critic who has employed more 
' time, wit, ingenuity, and diligence in promoting the literary inter- 
1 course between country and country, and in celebrating in one 
' language the triumphs of another. Yet, by a strange fatality, he 
'is constantly represented as the enemy of all literature but his 
' own ; and Spaniards, Englishmen, and Italians vie with each 
' other in inveighing against his occasional exaggeration of faulty 
' passages ; the authors of which, till he pointed out their beauties, 
' were hardly known beyond the country in which their language 
' was spoken. Those who feel such indignation at his misrepre- 
' sentations and oversights would find it difficult to produce a critic 
' in any modern language, who, in speaking of foreign literature, is 
' better informed or more candid than Voltaire ; and they certainly 
' never would be able to discover one who to those qualities unites 
'so much sagacity and liveliness." Some Account of the Life and 
Writings of Lope Felix de Vega Carpio, ed. 1817 (published with 
Lord Holland's name), vol. i. p. 216. (See Appendix VI. for 
Byron's use of this passage at the end of his correction of Bacon's 

l82I.] CHRONIC ENNUI. 155 

laugh and cry, neither of which is now a very easy matter 
at least, for a player to produce in me. 

Thought of the state of women under the ancient 
Greeks convenient enough. Present state a remnant of 
the barbarism of the chivalric and feudal ages artificial 
and unnatural. They ought to mind home and be well 
fed and clothed but not mixed in society. Well educated, 
too, in religion but to read neither poetry nor politics 
nothing but books of piety and cookery. Music draw- 
ing dancing also a little gardening and ploughing now 
and then. I have seen them mending the roads in Epirus 
with good success. Why not, as well as haymaking and 
milking ? 

Came home, and read Mitford again, and played with 
my mastiff gave him his supper. Made another reading 
to the epigram, but the turn the same. To-night at the 
theatre, there being a prince on his throne in the last 
scene of the comedy, the audience laughed, and asked 
him for a Constitution. This shows the state of the public 
mind here, as well as the assassinations. It won't do. 
There must be an universal republic, and there ought 
to be. 

The crow is lame of a leg wonder how it happened 
some fool trod upon his toe, I suppose. The falcon 
pretty brisk the cats large and noisy the monkeys I 
have not looked to since the cold weather, as they suffer 
by being brought up. Horses must be gay get a ride 
as soon as weather serves. Deuced muggy still an 
Italian winter is a sad thing, but all the other seasons 
are charming. 

What is the reason that I have been, all my lifetime, 
more or less enmty'e ? and that, if any thing, I am rather 
less so now than I was at twenty, as far as my recollection 
serves ? I do not know how to answer this, but presume 


that it is constitutional, as well as the waking in low 
spirits, which I have invariably done for many years. 
Temperance and exercise, which I have practised at 
times, and for a long time together vigorously and 
violently, made little or no difference. Violent passions 
did; when under their immediate influence it is odd, 
but I was in agitated, but not in depressed, spirits. 

A dose of salts has the effect of a temporary inebria- 
tion, like light champagne, upon me. But wine and 
spirits make me sullen and savage to ferocity silent, 
however, and retiring, and not quarrelsome, if not spoken 
to. Swimming also raises my spirits, but in general 
they are low, and get daily lower. That is hopeless ; for 
I do not think I am so much enmiy'e as I was at nineteen. 
The proof is, that then I must game, or drink, or be in 
motion of some kind, or I was miserable. At present, 
I can mope in quietness; and like being alone better 
than any company except the lady's whom I serve. 
But I feel a something, which makes me think that, if I 
ever reach near to old age, like Swift, " I shall die at 
" top " first. 1 Only I do not dread idiotism or madness 
so much as he did. On the contrary, I think some 
quieter stages of both must be preferable to much of 
what men think the possession of their senses. 

January 7, 1821, Sunday. 

Still rain mist snow drizzle and all the incal- 
culable combinations of a climate where heat and cold 
struggle for mastery. Read Spence, and turned over 

I. "I remember as I and others were taking with Swift an even- 
' ing walk, about a mile out of Dublin, he stopped short : we passed 
' on ; but perceiving he did not follow us, I went back and found 
' him fixed as a statue, and earnestly gazing upwards at a noble elm, 
' which, in its uppermost branches, was much withered and decayed. 
' Pointing at it, he said, ' I shall be like that tree, I shall die at 
' top.' " Dr. Young, in his Letter to Richardson. 


Roscoe, 1 to find a passage I have not found. Read the 
fourth vol. of W. Scott's second series of Tales of my 
Landlord. Dined. Read the Lugano Gazette. Read 
I forget what. At eight went to conversazione. Found 
there the Countess Geltrude, 2 Betti V. and her husband, 
and others. Pretty black-eyed woman that only nine- 
teen same age as Teresa, who is prettier, though. 

The Count Pietro G[amba] took me aside to say that 
the Patriots have had notice from Forli (twenty miles off) 
that to-night the government and its party mean to strike 
a stroke that the Cardinal here has had orders to make 
several arrests immediately, and that, in consequence, the 
Liberals are arming, and have posted patroles in the 
streets, to sound the alarm and give notice to fight for it. 

He asked me " what should be done ? " I answered, 
" Fight for it, rather than be taken in detail ; " and offered, 
if any of them are in immediate apprehension of arrest, 
to receive them in my house (which is defensible), and to 
defend them, with my servants and themselves (we have 
arms and ammunition), as long as we can, or to try to 
get them away under cloud of night. On going home, 
I offered him the pistols which I had about me but he 
refused, but said he would come off to me in case of 

It wants half an hour of midnight, and rains; as 
Gibbet says, " a fine night for their enterprise dark as 
"hell, and blows like the devil." 3 If the row don't 
happen now, it must soon. I thought that their system 
of shooting people would soon produce a re-action and 
now it seems coming. I will do what I can in the way 

1. William Roscoe (1753-1831) had already published his two 
historical works : The Life of Lorenzo dt? Medici, called the Magtiificent 
(1796), and The Life and Pontificate of Leo the Tenth (1805). 

2. Sic in Moore. 

3. Beaux' Stratagem, act iv. sc. 2. 


of combat, though a little out of exercise. The cause is 
a good one. 

Turned over and over half a score of books for the 
passage in question, and can't find it. Expect to hear 
the drum and the musquetry momently (for they swear to 
resist, and are right,) but I hear nothing, as yet, save 
the plash of the rain and the gusts of the wind at intervals. 
Don't like to go to bed, because I hate to be waked, and 
would rather sit up for the row, if there is to be one. 

Mended the fire have got the arms and a book or 
two, which I shall turn over. I know little of their 
numbers, but think the Carbonari l strong enough to beat 
the troops, even here. With twenty men this house 
might be defended for twenty-four hours against any force 
to be brought against it, now in this place, for the same 
time ; and, in such a time, the country would have notice, 
and would rise, if ever they will rise, of which there is 
some doubt. In the mean time, I may as well read as 
do any thing else, being alone. 

I. The Italian Carbonari owed their origin, statutes, and ritual to 
the Freemasons (Saint-Edme, Constitution, etc., des Carbonari, pp. 
7, 8). Much of their secret phraseology was, on the other hand, 
taken from the charcoal-burners ; thus a Carbonari lodge was a 
barraca (hut), and a meeting a veiidita (sale). Founded as a political 
society by the "republican refugees, who fled from Joseph Buona- 
"parte's rule to the Abruzzi and Calabria" (Bolton King, History 
of Italian Unity, vol. i. p. 19), they spread over Italy, though 
Naples remained the centre of their organization. In the society 
were included royalists and republicans, papalists and anti-papalists, 
soldiers, men of letters, priests, and officials. It linked together 
Neapolitan Carbonari and Murattists, detesting Bourbon rule ; Pied- 
montese Adelfi, cherishing ideals of a free and united Italy ; Lombard 
federali, inspired by the romantic movement to social and literary 
revolt ; and the " American hunters" of the Romagna, whose Capo 
was Byron. But the bond was one of disaffection, not of principle. 
In want of cohesion and in diversity of political aims lay the fatal 
weakness of the society. The movement which it helped to prepare, 
neither popular nor national, collapsed (see p. 8, note i), and 
Mazzini and the later Italian patriots set their faces against the 

1 82 1.] THE CARBONARI. 159 

JanuaryS, 1821, Monday. 

Rose, and found Count P. G. in my apartments. 
Sent away the servant. Told me that, according to the 
best information, the Government had not issued orders 
for the arrests apprehended ; that the attack in Forli had 
not taken place (as expected) by the Sanfedisti the 
opponents of the Carbonari or Liberals and that, as 
yet, they are still in apprehension only. Asked me for 
some arms of a better sort, which I gave him. Settled 
that, in case of a row, the Liberals were to assemble here 
(with me), and that he had given the word to Vincenzo 
G. and others of the Chiefs for that purpose. He himself 
and father are going to the chase in the forest ; but V. G. 
is to come to me, and an express to be sent off to him, 
P. G., if any thing occurs. Concerted operations. They 
are to seize but no matter. 

I advised them to attack in detail, and in different 
parties, in different places (though at the same time), so 
as to divide the attention of the troops, who, though 
few, yet being disciplined, would beat any body of 
people (not trained) in a regular fight unless dispersed 
in small parties, and distracted with different assaults. 
Offered to let them assemble here if they choose. It 
is a strongish post narrow street, commanded from 
within and tenable walls. 

Dined. Tried on a new coat. Letter to Murray, 
with corrections of Bacon's Apophthegms and an epigram 
the latter not for publication. At eight went to Teresa, 
Countess G. At nine and a half came in II Conte P. 
and Count P. G. Talked of a certain proclamation 
lately issued. Count R. G. had been with * * (the * *), 
to sound him about the arrests. He, * *, is a trimmer^ 
and deals, at present, his cards with both hands. If he 
don't mind, they'll be full. * * pretends (/ doubt him 


tluy don't, we shall see) that there is no such order, 
and seems staggered by the immense exertions of the 
Neapolitans, and the fierce spirit of the Liberals here. 
The truth is, that * * cares for little but his place (which 
is a good one), and wishes to play pretty with both 
parties. He has changed his mind thirty times these 
last three moons, to my knowledge, for he corresponds 
with me. But he is not a bloody fellow only an 
avaricious one. 

It seems that, just at this moment (as Lydia Languish * 
says), " there will be no elopement after all." I wish 
that I had known as much last night or, rather, this 
morning I should have gone to bed two hours earlier. 
And yet I ought not to complain ; for, though it is a 
sirocco, and heavy rain, I have not yawned for these two 

Came home read History of Greece before dinner 
had read Walter Scott's Rob Roy. Wrote address to the 
letter in answer to Alessio del Pinto, who has thanked 
me for helping his brother (the late Commandant, 
murdered here last month) in his last moments. Have 
told him I only did a duty of humanity as is true. The 
brother lives at Rome. 

Mended the fire with some sgobole (a Romagnuole 
word), and gave the falcon some water. Drank some 
Seltzer-water. Mem. received to-day a print, or etching, 
of the story of Ugolino, by an Italian painter different, 
of course, from Sir Joshua Reynolds's, and I think (as 
far as recollection goes) no worse, for Reynolds's is not 
good in history. 2 Tore a button in my new coat. 

1. " Lydia Languish" in The Rivals, act iv. sc. 2 

" So ! there will be no elopement after all ! " (sullenly) 

2. Medwin (Angler in Wales, vol. ii. pp. 178, 179), speaking of 
Byron's palace at Pisa, says, " I found him in his sanctum. The 




I wonder what figure these Italians will make in a 
regular row. I sometimes think that, like the Irishman's 
gun (somebody had sold him a crooked one), they will 
only do for " shooting round a corner ; " at least, this 
sort of shooting has been the late tenor of their exploits. 
And yet there are materials in this people, and a noble 
energy, if well directed. But who is to direct them? 
No matter. Out of such times heroes spring. Diffi- 
culties are the hotbeds of high spirits, and Freedom the 
mother of the few virtues incident to human nature. 

Tuesday, January 9, 1821. 

Rose the day fine. Ordered the horses; but Lega 
(my secretary, an Italianism for steward or chief servant) 
coming to tell me that the painter had finished the work 
in fresco for the room he has been employed on lately, 
I went to see it before I set out. The painter has not 
copied badly the prints from Titian, etc., considering 
all things. 

Dined. Read Johnson's Vanity of ffiiman Wishes, 
all the examples and mode of giving them sublime, 
as well as the latter part, with the exception of an 
occasional couplet. I do not so much admire the 
opening. I remember an observation of Sharpe's, (the 
Conversationist, as he was called in London, and a very 
clever man,) that the first line of this poem was super- 
fluous, and that Pope (the best of poets, /think,) would 
have begun at once, only changing the punctuation 
" Survey mankind from China to Peru." * 

" walls of it were stained, and against them hung a picture of 
" Ugolino, in the Torre Delia fame, the work of one of the Guiccioli's 
" sisters, and a miniature of Ada." 

I. For Richard Sharp, see Letters, vol. ii. p. 341, note 2. He 
had been a wholesale hatter, and was of a peculiarly dark com- 
plexion. " Somebody said that he had transferred the colour of his 

VOL. V. M 


The former line, "Let observation," etc., is certainly 
heavy and useless. But 'tis a grand poem and so true 1 
true as the loth of Juvenal himself. The lapse of 
ages changes all things time language the earth the 
bounds of the sea the stars of the sky, and every thing 
" about, around, and underneath " man, except man himself > 
who has always been, and always will be, an unlucky 
rascal. The infinite variety of lives conduct but to death, 
and the infinity of wishes lead but to disappointment. 1 

"hats to his face, when Luttrell said that 'it was darkness which 
"might be felt' " (Greville Memoirs, vol. i. p. 249). 
Byron refers to the following passage : 

' ' There is another offence against simplicity which should be 
" shunned ; though it occurs often in Johnson, and though the 
" abstract terms, affected by him, give a kind of false pomp to the 
"style, assuming the air of personification. He thus commences 
" his imitation of the tenth satire of Juvenal 

" ' Let observation, with extensive view, 
Survey mankind from China to Peru.' 

" Dryden and Pope would have been satisfied with the second line, 
" and would have avoided both the tautology and pomposity of the 
" first." Sharp's Letters and Essays in Prose and Verse, pp. 35, 36, 
ed. 1834. 

Johnson (Boswell's Life, vol. i. p. 403) himself discussed this 
question of abrupt openings. Speaking of Gray, he says, "His 
" Ode, which begins 

" ' Ruin seize thee, ruthless King, 

Confusion on thy banners wait ! ' 

' has been celebrated for its abruptness, and plunging into the 
' subject all at once. But such arts as these have no merit, unless 
' when they are original. We admire them only once ; and this 
' abruptness has nothing new in it. We have had it often before. 
' Nay, we have it in the old song of Johnny Armstrong 
" ' Is there ever a man in all Scotland 

From the highest estate to the lowest degree,' etc. 
" And then, sir, 

" ' Yes, there is a man in Westmoreland, 

And Johnny Armstrong they do him call.' " 
I. " Time hovers o'er, impatient to destroy, 
And shuts up all the passages of joy : 
In vain their gifts the bounteous seasons pour, 
The fruit autumnal, and the vernal flow'r ; 
With listless eyes the dotard views the store, 
He views, and wonders that they please no more." 

Vanity of Human Wishes. 

1 82 I.] WAR, OR RUMOURS OF WAR. 163 

All the discoveries which have yet been made have 
multiplied little but existence. An extirpated disease is 
succeeded by some new pestilence; and a discovered 
world has brought little to the old one, except the p 
first and freedom afterwards the latter a fine thing, 
particularly as they gave it to Europe in exchange for 
slavery. But it is doubtful whether "the Sovereigns" 
would not think the first the best present of the two to 
their subjects. 

At eight went out heard some news. They say the 
King of Naples has declared by couriers from Florence, 
to the Powers (as they call now those wretches with 
crowns), that his Constitution was compulsive, etc., etc., 
and that the Austrian barbarians are placed again on 
war pay, and will march. Let them " they come like 
" sacrifices in their trim," x the hounds of hell ! Let it 
still be a hope to see their bones piled like those of the 
human dogs at Morat, in Switzerland, which I have seen. 

Heard some music. At nine the usual visitors 
news, war, or rumours of war. Consulted with P. G., etc., 
etc. They mean to insurrect here, and are to honour 
me with a call thereupon. I shall not fall back ; though 
I don't think them in force or heart sufficient to make 
much of it. But, onward! it is now the time to act, 
and what signifies self> if a single spark of that which 
would be worthy of the past can be bequeathed un- 
quenchedly to the future? It is not one man, nor a 
million, but the spirit of liberty which must be spread. 
The waves which dash upon the shore are, one by one, 
broken, but yet the ocean conquers, nevertheless. It 

I. " Let them come j 

They come like sacrifices in their trim, 
And to the fire-ey'd maid of smoky war, 
All hot, and bleeding, will we offer them." 

King Henry IV., Part I. act iv. sc. I. 


overwhelms the Armada, it wears the rock, and, if the 
Neptunians are to be believed, it has not only destroyed, 
but made a world. In like manner, whatever the sacrifice 
of individuals, the great cause will gather strength, sweep 
down what is rugged, and fertilise (for sea-weed is manure) 
what is cultivable. And so, the mere selfish calculation 
ought never to be made on such occasions; and, at 
present, it shall not be computed by me. I was never 
a good arithmetician of chances, and shall not commence 

January 10, 1821. 

Day fine rained only in the morning. Looked over 
accounts. Read Campbell's Poets marked errors of 
Tom (the author) for correction. Dined went out 
music Tyrolese air, with variations. Sustained the 
cause of the original simple air against the variations of 
the Italian school. 

Politics somewhat tempestuous, and cloudier daily. 
To-morrow being foreign post-day, probably something 
more will be known. 

Came home read. Corrected Tom Campbell's slips 
of the pen. A good work, though style affected but 
his defence of Pope is glorious. 1 To be sure, it is his 
own cause too, but no matter, it is very good, and does 
him great credit. 


I have been turning over different Lives of the Poets. 
I rarely read their works, unless an occasional flight over 

I. To Campbell's Specimens of the British, Poets (9 vols., 1819) is 
prefixed an Essay on English Poetry ', which concludes with a defence 
of Pope. The Essay, and the Lives prefixed to the Specimens, were 
republished separately in 1848, edited by Peter Cunningham. In 
this edition the defence of Pope occupies pp. 108-117. 

1 82 1.] THE TALE OF TROY. 165 

the classical ones, Pope, Dryden, Johnson, Gray, and 
those who approach them nearest (I leave the rant of the 
rest to the cant of the day), and I had made several 
reflections, but I feel sleepy, and may as well go to bed. 

January n, 1821. 

Read the letters. Corrected the tragedy and the 
Hints from Horace. Dined, and got into better spirits. 
Went out returned finished letters, five in number. 
Read Poets, and an anecdote in Spence. 

All 1 , writes to me that the Pope, and Duke of Tuscany, 
and King of Sardinia, have also been called to Congress ; 
but the Pope will only deal there by proxy. So the 
interests of millions are in the hands of about twenty 
coxcombs, at a place called Leibach ! l 

I should almost regret that my own affairs went well, 
when those of .nations are in peril. If the interests of 
mankind could be essentially bettered (particularly of 
these oppressed Italians), I should not so much mind my 
own " sma peculiar." God grant us all better times, or 
more philosophy ! 

In reading, I have just chanced upon an expression 
of Tom Campbell's ; speaking of Collins, he says that 
" no reader cares any more about the characteristic 
" manners of his Eclogues than about the authenticity of 
" the tale of Troy." 2 'Tis false we do care about " the 
" authenticity of the tale of Troy." I have stood upon that 
plain daily, for more than a month in 1810; and if any 
thing diminished my pleasure, it was that the blackguard 

1. See p. 8, note i. 

2. In Campbell's life of William Collins (Essay on English 
Poetry, ed. 1848, p. 270), he says, speaking of Collins's pastoral 
eclogues, " It seems that he himself ultimately undervalued those 
"eclogues, as deficient in characteristic manners ; but surely no just 
" reader of them cares any more about this circumstance than about 
" the authenticity of the tale of Troy." 


Bryant 1 had impugned its veracity. It is true I read 
Homer Travestied"*- (the first twelve books), because Hob- 
house and others bored me with their learned localities, 
and I love quizzing. But I still venerated the grand 
original as the truth of history (in the material facts] and 
of place. Otherwise, it would have given me no delight. 
Who will persuade me, when I reclined upon a mighty 
tomb, that it did not contain a hero ? its very magnitude 
proved this. Men do not labour over the ignoble and 
petty dead and why should not the dead be Homer's 
dead ? The secret of Tom Campbell's defence of inaccu- 
racy in costume and description is, that his Gertrude, 3 etc., 
has no more locality in common with Pennsylvania than 
with Penmanmaur. It is notoriously full of grossly false 
scenery, as all Americans declare, though they praise 
parts of the poem. It is thus that self-love for ever 
creeps out, like a snake, to sting anything which happens, 
even accidentally, to stumble upon it. 

January 12, 1821. 

The weather still so humid and impracticable, that 
London, in its most oppressive fogs, were a summer- 
bower to this mist and sirocco, which has now lasted 

1. " I've stood upon Achilles' tomb, 

And heard Troy doubted ; time will doubt of Rome." 

Don yuan, Canto IV. stanza ci. 

The first edition of Jacob Bryant's Dissertation concerning the war 
of Troy, and the expedition of the Grecians, as described by Homer ; 
showing that no such expedition was ever undertaken, and that no 
such city of Phrygia existed, appeared in 1796. 

2. Homer Travestie ; Being a new translation of that great poet, 
appeared anonymously in 1720. It contained a translation of three 
books. A second edition, with four books translated by Cotton, 
junior, was printed in 1762. The third edition of this work, greatly 
enlarged, was published in 1770, under the title of A Burlesque 
Translation of Homer (i.e. of Books I.-XI1. of the Iliad), with the 
real name of the author, T. Bridges. 

3. Gertrude of Wyoming appeared in 1809. 

1 82 1.] A PLAY FOR THE STUDY. 167 

(but with one day's interval), chequered with snow or 
heavy rain only, since the 3oth of December, 1820. It 
is so far lucky that I have a literary turn ; but it is very 
tiresome not to be able to stir out, in comfort, on any 
horse but Pegasus, for so many days. The roads are 
even worse than the weather, by the long splashing, and 
the heavy soil, and the growth of the waters. 

Read the Poets English, that is to say out of 
Campbell's edition. There is a good deal of taffeta in 
some of Tom's prefatory phrases, but his work is good as 
a whole. I like him best, though, in his own poetry. 

Murray writes that they want to act the Tragedy of 
Marino Faliero more fools they, it was written for the 
closet. I have protested against this piece of usurpation, 
(which, it seems, is legal for managers over any printed 
work, against the author's will) and I hope they will not 
attempt it. Why don't they bring out some of the num- 
berless aspirants for theatrical celebrity, now encumbering 
their shelves, instead of lugging me out of the library ? 
I have written a fierce protest against any such attempt ; 
but I still would hope that it will not be necessary, and 
that they will see, at once, that it is not intended for the 
stage. It is too regular the time, twenty-four hours 
the change of place not frequent nothing *w/(7-dramatic 
no surprises, no starts, nor trap-doors, nor opportunities 
" for tossing their heads and kicking their heels " and 
no love the grand ingredient of a modern play. 

I have found out the seal cut on Murray's letter. It 
is meant for Walter Scott or Sir Walter he is the first 
poet knighted since Sir Richard Blackmore. But it does 
not do him justice. Scott's particularly when he recites 
is a very intelligent countenance, and this seal says 

Scott is certainly the most wonderful writer of the 


day. His novels are a new literature in themselves, and 
his poetry as good as any if not better (only on an 
erroneous system) and only ceased to be so popular, be- 
cause the vulgar learned were tired of hearing " Aristides 
" called the Just," and Scott the Best, and ostracised him. 

I like him, too, for his manliness of character, for the 
extreme pleasantness of his conversation, and his good- 
nature towards myself, personally. May he prosper ! 
for he deserves it. I know no reading to which I fall 
with such alacrity as a work of W. Scott's. I shall give 
the seal, with his bust on it, to Madame la Comtesse G. 
this evening, who will be curious to have the effigies of a 
man so celebrated. 

How strange are my thoughts ! The reading of the 
song of Milton, " Sabrina fair " l has brought back upon 
me I know not how or why the happiest, perhaps, 
days of my life (always excepting, here and there, a 
Harrow holiday in the two latter summers of my stay 
there) when living at Cambridge with Edward Noel 
Long, 2 afterwards of the Guards, who, after having 
served honourably in the expedition to Copenhagen (of 
which two or three thousand scoundrels yet survive in 
plight and pay), was drowned early in 1809, on his passage 
to Lisbon with his regiment in the St. George transport, 
which was run foul of in the night by another trans- 
port. We were rival swimmers fond of riding reading 
and of conviviality. We had been at Harrow together ; 
but there, at least his was a less boisterous spirit than 

I. " Sabrina fair, 

Listen where thou art sitting 
Under the glassy, cool, translucent wave, 

In twisted braids of lilies knitting 
The loose train of thy amber-dropping hair," etc. 

Comus, line 859, et seqq. 

z. For Long, the "Cleon" of Childish Recollections, see Letters, 
vol. i. p. 73, note 2, and vol. ii. p. 19, note. 

1 82 1.] BYRON'S POOL. 169 

mine. I was always cricketing rebelling fighting 
rowing (from row, not &?#/-rowing, a different practice), 
and in all manner of mischiefs ; while he was more sedate 
and polished. At Cambridge both of Trinity my 
spirit rather softened, or his roughened, for we became 
very great friends. The description of Sabrina's seat 
reminds me of our rival feats in diving. Though Cam's 
is not a very translucent wave, it was fourteen feet deep, 
where we used to dive for, and pick up having thrown 
them in on purpose plates, eggs, and even shillings. I 
remember, in particular, there was the stump of a tree 
(at least ten or twelve feet deep) in the bed of the river, 
in a spot where we bathed most commonly, round which I 
used to cling, and " wonder how the devil I came there." 

Our evenings we passed in music (he was musical, 
and played on more than one instrument, flute and 
violoncello), in which I was audience ; and I think that 
our chief beverage was soda-water. In the day we rode, 
bathed, and lounged, reading occasionally. I remember 
our buying, with vast alacrity, Moore's new quarto 1 (in 
1806), and reading it together in the evenings. 

We only passed the summer together; Long had 
gone into the Guards during the year I passed in Notts, 
away from college. His friendship, and a violent, though 
pure, love and passion which held me at the same 
period were the then romance of the most romantic 
period of my life. 


I remember that, in the spring of 1809, Hobhouse 
laughed at my being distressed at Long's death, and 
amused himself with making epigrams upon his name, 
which was susceptible of a pun Long, short, etc. But 
three years after, he had ample leisure to repent it, when 
I. Epistles, Odes, and other Poems (1806). 


our mutual friend, and his, Hobhouse's, particular friend, 
Charles Matthews, was drowned also, and he himself was 
as much affected by a similar calamity. But /did not 
pay him back in puns and epigrams, for I valued Matthews 
too much myself to do so ; and, even if I had not, I should 
have respected his griefs. 

Long's father wrote to me to write his son's epitaph. 
I promised but I had not the heart to complete it. He 
was such a good amiable being as rarely remains long in 
this world ; with talent and accomplishments, too, to 
make him the more regretted. Yet, although a cheerful 
companion, he had strange melancholy thoughts some- 
times. I remember once that we were going to his uncle's, 
I think I went to accompany him to the door merely, 
in some Upper or Lower Grosvenor or Brook Street, I 
forget which, but it was in a street leading out of some 
square, he told me that, the night before, he " had taken 
" up a pistol not knowing or examining whether it was 
" loaded or no and had snapped it at his head, leaving 
"it to chance whether it might not be charged." The 
letter, too, which he wrote me on leaving college to join the 
Guards, was as melancholy in its tenour as it could well 
be on such an occasion. But he showed nothing of this 
in his deportment, being mild and gentle ; and yet with 
much turn for the ludicrous in his disposition. We were 
both much attached to Harrow, and sometimes made 
excursions there together from London to revive our 
schoolboy recollections. 1 

I. "... ere yon silver lamp of night . . . 

Has thrice retraced her path of light, . . . 
I trust, that we, my gentle Friend, 
Shall see her rolling orbit wend, 
Above the dear-loved peaceful seat, 
Which once contained our youth's retreat ; 
And, then, with those our childhood knew, 
We'll mingle in the festive crew." 

Lines to Edward Noel Long, Esq., see Poems, 
1898, vol. i. p. 188. 



Read the Italian translation by Guide Sorelli of the 
German Grillparzer l a devil of a name, to be sure, for 
posterity ; but they must learn to pronounce it. With all 
the allowance for a translation, and above all, an Italian 
translation (they are the very worst of translators, except 
from the Classics Annibale Caro, 2 for instance and 
there, the bastardy of their language helps them, as, by 
way of looking legitimate, they ape their father's tongue) ; 
but with every allowance for such a disadvantage, the 
tragedy of Sappho is superb and sublime ! There is no 
denying it. The man has done a great thing in writing 
that play. And -who is he? I know him not ; but ages 
will. 'Tis a high intellect. 

I must premise, however, that I have read nothing of 
Adolph Milliner's (the author of Guilt*), and much less 
of Goethe, and Schiller, and Wieland, than I could wish. 
I only know them through the medium of English, French, 

1. Franz Grillparzer (1791-1872) was born at Vienna, where his 
originality was crushed by rigorous press-censorship. He began his 
literary career with Die Ahnjrau (1817), which was followed by 
Sappho (1819). His Konig Ottokars Gltick und Ende (1825) was 
kept for two years in the censor's office, and only discovered by 
accident, when the poet had given it up for lost (see Laube's edition 
of Grillparzer's Sdmtl. Werke, vol. i. p. xxiv.). The passage from 
Byron's Journal is prefixed to a translation of Sappho, into English 
blank verse, by L. C. C. (1855). Guido Sorelli's versione italiana 
of Saffo was published in 1819. Perhaps Byron's curious ana- 
chronism, where he makes Sardanapalus (act iii. sc. l) say 

" Sing me a song of Sappho, her, thou know'st, 

Who in thy country threw " 

is due to the impression made on his mind by Grillparzer's Sappho. 

2. Annibale Caro 1(1507-1566) translated the Aineid into blank 
verse (printed at Venice in 1581), and sang the praises alternately of 
Francis I. and the Emperor Charles V. 

3. Adolf Mullner (1774-1829) published his Die Schuld (1812). 
It belongs to the Schicksalsdrama, or " Fate Tragedies," in which 
some of the romantic school, e.g. Zacharias Werner, Houwald, etc., 
found expression for the new thoughts and feelings which invaded 
the rationalistic world of the eighteenth century. 


and Italian translations. Of the real language I know 
absolutely nothing, except oaths learned from postillions 
and officers in a squabble ! I can swear in German 
potently, when I like " Sacrament Verfluchter Hunds- 
"foft" and so forth; 1 but I have little less of their 
energetic conversation. 

I like, however, their women, (I was once so desperately 
in love with a German woman, Constance,) and all that I 
have read, translated, of their writings, and all that I have 
seen on the Rhine of their country and people all, except 
the Austrians, whom I abhor, loathe, and I cannot find 
words for my hate of them, and should be sorry to find 
deeds correspondent to my hate; for I abhor cruelty 
more than I abhor the Austrians except on an impulse, 
and then I am savage but not deliberately so. 

Grillparzer is grand antique not so simple as the 
ancients, but very simple for a modern too Madame de 
StaehV/z, now and then but altogether a great and goodly 

January 13, 1821, Saturday. 

Sketched the outline and Drams. Pers. of an intended 
tragedy of Sardanapalus, which I have for some time 
meditated. Took the names from Diodorus Siculus, 
(I know the history of Sardanapalus, and have known it 
since I was twelve years old,) and read over a passage in 

I. " On with the horses ; off to Canterbury ! 

Tramp, tramp o'er pebble, and splash, splash through 

puddle ; 

Hurrah ! how swiftly speeds the post so merry ! 
Not like slow Germany, wherein they muddle 
Along the road, as if they went to bury 

Their fare ; and also pause besides, to fuddle 
With ' schnapps ' sad dogs ! whom ' Hundsfott ' or ' Ver- 
Affect no more than lightning a conductor." 

Don Juan, Canto X. stanza Ixxi. 


the ninth vol. octavo, of Mitford's Greece, where he rather 
vindicates the memory of this last of the Assyrians. 1 

Dined news come the Powers mean to war with 
the peoples. The intelligence seems positive let it be 
so they will be beaten in the end. The king-times are 
fast finishing. There will be blood shed like water, and 
tears like mist ; but the peoples will conquer in the end. 
I shall not live to see it, but I foresee it. 

I carried Teresa the Italian translation of Grillparzer's 
Sappho, which she promises to read. She quarrelled with 
me, because I said that love was not tfie loftiest theme for 
true tragedy; and, having the advantage of her native 
language, and natural female eloquence, she overcame 
my fewer arguments. I believe she was right. I must 
put more love into Sardanapalus than I intended. I 
speak, of course, if the times will allow me leisure. That 
// will hardly be a peace-maker. 

January 14, 1821. 

Turned over Seneca's tragedies. Wrote the opening 
lines of the intended tragedy of Sardanapalus. Rode out 
some miles into the forest. Misty and rainy. Returned 
dined wrote some more of my tragedy. 

Read Diodorus Siculus turned over Seneca, and 
some other books. Wrote some more of the tragedy. 
Took a glass of grog. After having ridden hard in rainy 
weather, and scribbled, and scribbled again, the spirits 

I. The passage from Mitford's History of Greece (vol. ix. pp. 311- 
313) is quoted in Sardanapalus, as a note to act i. sc. 2 

" Sardanapalus 

The king, and son of Anacyndaraxes, 
In one day built Anchialus and Tarsus. 
Eat, drink, and love ; the rest's not worth a fillip." 
Sardanapalus, a Tragedy, was published with The Two Foscari, 
and Cain, a Mystery, in December, 1821. Murray paid for the 
three tragedies .2710. 


(at least mine) need a little exhilaration, and I don't like 
laudanum now as I used to do. So I have mixed a glass 
of strong waters and single waters, which I shall now 
proceed to empty. Therefore and thereunto I conclude 
this day's diary. 

The effect of all wines and spirits upon me is, however, 
strange. It settles , but it makes me gloomy gloomy at 
the very moment of their effect, and not gay hardly ever. 
But it composes for a time, though sullenly. 

January 15, 1821. 

Weather fine. Received visit. Rode out into the 
forest fired pistols. Returned home dined dipped 
into a volume of Mitford's Greece wrote part of a scene 
of Sardanapalus. Went out heard some music heard 
some politics. More ministers from the other Italian 
powers gone to Congress. War seems certain in that 
case, it will be a savage one. Talked over various im- 
portant matters with one of the initiated. At ten and 
half returned home. 

I have just thought of something odd. In the year 
1814, Moore ("the poet," par excellence^ and he deserves 
it) and I were going together, in the same carriage, to 
dine with Earl Grey, 1 the Capo Politico of the remaining 

i. Charles Grey (1764-1845) succeeded his father as second Earl 
Grey in 1807. As M.P. for Northumberland and Appleby (1786- 
1807), he was prominent in opposition to Pitt, and support of Fox, 
a member of the Society of the Friends of the People, and a con- 
sistent advocate of parliamentary reform. In the Fox and Grenville 
administration of 1 806 he was First Lord of the Admiralty, and on 
the death of Fox, in September of that year, he became Secretary of 
State for Foreign Affairs, leader of the House of Commons and of 
the Whig party. After the fall of the Government in March, 1807, 
Lord Grey was excluded from office till 1830, when he formed the 
Reform Bill administration of 1830-34. He married, November 
1 8, 1794, a daughter of the first Lord Ponsonby, by whom he had 
fifteen children. Byron probably refers to Lady Louisa Elizabeth 
Grey, born April 7, 1797, who married (1816) the first Earl of 

1 82 1.] FAME AT SIX-AND-TWENTY. 1 75 

Whigs. Murray, the magnificent (the illustrious publisher 
of that name), had just sent me a Java gazette I know 
not why, or wherefore. Pulling it out, by way of curiosity, 
we found it to contain a dispute (the said Java gazette) 
on Moore's merits and mine. I think, if I had been 
there, that I could have saved them the trouble of dis- 
puting on the subject. But, there is fame for you at six 
and twenty! Alexander had conquered India at the 
same age; but I doubt if he was disputed about, or his 
conquests compared with those of Indian Bacchus, at 

It was a great fame to be named with Moore ; greater 
to be compared with him; greatest pleasure, at least 
to be with him ; and, surely, an odd coincidence, that we 
should be dining together while they were quarrelling 
about us beyond the equinoctial line. 

Well, the same evening, I met Lawrence x the painter, 

I. Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), the son of an innkeeper, 

was knighted in 1815, and became President of the Royal Academy 

in 1820. An infant prodigy, he drew, from the age of six, portraits 

of his father's guests at the Black Bear Inn, Devizes. His prices 

rose as he grew in fame. " A. Ellis," writes Jekyll, in December, 

1828 (Letters, p. 189), " gives Lawrence five hundred guineas for a 

"portrait of Lady G. and child. I have a picture he painted for 

"half a guinea." Though he made a large income, he was always 

in money difficulties, mainly through his passion for collecting works 

of art. Rogers lent him money (Rogers and his Contemporaries, 

vol. i. p. 426), and, when Lawrence came to his door at night 

towards Christmas, 1825, " in a state of alarming agitation," asking 

for a few thousand pounds, it was through Rogers that Lord Dudley 

saved him from ruin (ibid., pp. 423-425). He died in debt. " Poor 

''Sir T. Lawrence," writes Jekyll, January, 1830 (Letters, p. 220), 

' is the subject of universal regret, terribly in debt, ^6000 they say 

' to Lord Dudley, and God knows how much to others. ... It is 

' false that he ever played. The riches of his portfolio very great, 

' for so he spent all he had. They talk of a value of ^60,000 in 

'sketches, studies, etc., of the great masters, an irreparable blow to 

' the Academy. No such successor can be found." His good looks 

and good manners, combined with his artistic genius and intellectual 

gifts, made him popular in society. Greville (Memoirs, vol. i. p. 

263) speaks of him, at the age of sixty, as " very like Canning in 


and heard one of Lord Grey's daughters (a fine, tall, 
spirit-looking girl, with much of the patrician thorough- 
bred look of her father, which I dote upon) play on the 
harp, so modestly and ingenuously, that she looked music, 
Well, I would rather have had my talk with Lawrence 
(who talked delightfully) and heard the girl, than have 
had all the fame of Moore and me put together. 

The only pleasure of fame is that it paves the way to 
pleasure; and the more intellectual our pleasure, the 
better for the pleasure and for us too. It was, however, 
agreeable to have heard our fame before dinner, and a 
girl's harp after. 

January 16, 1821. 

Read rode fired pistols returned dined wrote 
visited heard music talked nonsense and went 

Wrote part of a Tragedy advanced in Act ist with 
" all deliberate speed." Bought a blanket. The weather 
is still muggy as a London May mist, mizzle, the air 
replete with Scotticisms, which, though fine in the descrip- 
tions of Ossian, are somewhat tiresome in real, prosaic 
perspective. Politics still mysterious. 

' appearance, remarkably gentlemanlike, with very mild manners, 

' though rather too doucereux, agreeable in society, unassuming, and 

' not a great talker j his mind was highly cultivated ; he had a taste 

' for every kind of literature, and was enthusiastically devoted to his 

' art. . . . He was ... a generous patron of young artists of merit 

' and talent." His subjects were always painted, to say the least, at 

their best. His portrait of George IV., which Moore (Memoirs, etc., 

vol. iii. p. 349) described as " disgraceful both to the king and the 

"painter: a lie upon canvas," is an exaggerated example of his 

flattery. At the time when Byron wrote (1821), Lawrence was at 

Rome, where Lady Morgan saw him and one of his finest pictures, 

the portrait of Pope Pius VII., which, she says (Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 

123), " left all the Italian painters in despair." 


January 17, 1821. 

Rode i' the forest fired pistols dined. Arrived a 
packet of books from England and Lombardy English, 
Italian, French, and Latin. Read till eight went out. 

January 18, 1821. 

To-day, the post arriving late, did not ride. Read 
letters only two gazettes instead of twelve now due. 
Made Lega write to that negligent Galignani, and added 
a postscript. Dined. 

At eight proposed to go out. Lega came in with a 
letter about a bill rinpaid at Venice, which I thought paid 
months ago. I flew into a paroxysm of rage, which 
almost made me faint. I have not been well ever since. 
I deserve it for being such a fool but it was provoking 
a set of scoundrels ! It is, however, but five and twenty 

January 19, 1821. 

Rode. Winter's wind somewhat more unkind than 
ingratitude itself, though Shakspeare says otherwise. 
At least, I am so much more accustomed to meet with 
ingratitude than the north wind, that I thought the latter 
the sharper of the two. I had met with both in the 
course of the twenty-four hours, so could judge. 

Thought of a plan of education for my daughter 
Allegra, who ought to begin soon with her studies. 
Wrote a letter afterwards a postscript. Rather in low 
spirits certainly hippish liver touched will take a dose 
of salts. 

I have been reading the Life, by himself and 

daughter, of Mr. R. L. Edgeworth, the father of the 

Miss Edgeworth. It is altogether a great name. In 

1813, I recollect to have met them in the fashionable 

VOL. v. N 


world of London (of which I then formed an item, a 
fraction, the segment of a circle, the unit of a million, the 
nothing of something) in the assemblies of the hour, and 
at a breakfast of Sir Humphry and Lady Davy's, to 
which I was invited for the nonce. I had been the lion 
of 1812 : Miss Edgeworth and Madame de Stael, with 
" the Cossack," towards the end of 1813, were the exhi- 
bitions of the succeeding year. 1 

I thought Edgeworth a fine old fellow, of a clarety, 
elderly, red complexion, but active, brisk, and endless. 
He was seventy, but did not look fifty no, nor forty- 
eight even. I had seen poor Fitzpatrick not very long 
before a man of pleasure, wit, eloquence, all things. 2 
He tottered but still talked like a gentleman, though 
feebly. Edgeworth bounced about, and talked loud and 
long ; but he seemed neither weakly nor decrepit, and 
hardly old. 

He began by telling " that he had given Dr. Parr a 
" dressing, who had taken him for an Irish bogtrotter," etc., 
etc. Now I, who know Dr. Parr, and who know (not by 

1. Richard Lovell Edgeworth (1744-1817), father of Maria Edge- 
worth (1767-1849), was in London in 1813, with his fourth wife (nee 
Beaufort). His Memoirs, completed by Maria, were published in 

" May II, 1813. Mr., Mrs., and Miss Edgeworth are just come 
' over from Ireland, and are the general objects of curiosity and 
' attention. . . . Miss Edgeworth is a most agreeable person, very 
' natural, clever, and well-informed, without the least pretensions 
1 of authorship. She had never been in a large society before, and 
' she was followed and courted by all the persons of distinction in 
' London, with an avidity almost without example." Sir J. Mack- 
intosh, Life, vol. ii. p. 267. See also Letters, vol. ii. p. 391, note l. 

2. General Richard Fitzpatrick (1747-1813), second son of the 
first Earl of Ossory, was for forty years the intimate friend of Fox. 
He was Secretary at War to the coalition ministry of 1783 ; and 
again in 1806, during the Fox and Grenville administration. He 
wrote various poetical trifles ; among others, The Bath Picture (1772), 
Dorinda (1775). To The Rolliad he contributed "The Lyars," a 
political eclogue between Prettyman (sic) and Banks. 


experience for I never should have presumed so far as to 
contend with him but by hearing him with others, and 
Bothers) that it is not so easy a matter to "dress him," 
thought Mr. Edgeworth an assertor of what was not true. 
He could not have stood before Parr for an instant. For 
the rest, he seemed intelligent, vehement, vivacious, and 
full of life. He bids fair for a hundred years. 

He was not much admired in London, and I re- 
member a " ryghte merrie " and conceited jest which was 
rife among the gallants of the day, viz. a paper had 
been presented for the recall of Mrs. Siddons to the stage, 
(she having lately taken leave, to the loss of ages, for 
nothing ever was, or can be, like her,) to which all men 
had been called to subscribe. Whereupon Thomas 
Moore, of profane and poetical memory, did propose that 
a similar paper should be Ascribed and transcribed 
" for the recall of Mr. Edgeworth to Ireland." * 

The fact was every body cared more about her. She 
was a nice little unassuming " Jeanie Deans-looking body," 
as we Scotch say and, if not handsome, certainly not 
ill-looking. Her conversation was as quiet as herself. 
One would never have guessed she could write her name; 
whereas her father talked, not as if he could write nothing 
else, but as if nothing else was worth writing. 

As for Mrs. Edgeworth, I forget' except that I think 
she was the youngest of the party. Altogether, they were 
an excellent cage of the kind; and succeeded for two 
months, till the landing of Madame de Stael. 

To turn from them to their works, I admire them ; 
but they excite no feeling, and they leave no love except 
for some Irish steward or postillion. However, the 

I. "In this I rather think Byron was misinformed ; whatever 
" merit there may be in the jest, I have not, as far as I can recollect, 
" the slightest claim to it" (Moore). 


impression of intellect and prudence is profound and 
may be useful. 1 

January 21, 1821. 

Rode fired pistols. Read from Grimm's Corre- 
spondence. Dined went out heard music returned 
wrote a letter to the Lord Chamberlain to request him to 
prevent the theatres from representing the Doge, which 
the Italian papers say that they are going to act. This is 
pretty work what ! without asking my consent, and even 
in opposition to it ! 

January 21, 1821. 

Fine, clear, frosty day that is to say, an Italian frost, 
for their winters hardly get beyond snow; for which 
reason nobody knows how to skate (or skait) a Dutch 
and English accomplishment. Rode out, as usual, and 
fired pistols. Good shooting broke four common, and 
rather small, bottles, in four shots, at fourteen paces, with 
a common pair of pistols and indifferent powder. Almost 
as good wafering or shooting considering the difference 
of powder and pistol, as when, in 1809, 1810, 1811, 
1812, 1813, 1814, it was my luck to split walking-sticks, 
wafers, half-crowns, shillings, and even the eye of a 

I. "In my first enthusiasm of admiration, I thought that [Miss 
' Edgeworth] had first made fiction useful ; but every fiction since 
' Homer has taught friendship, patriotism, generosity, contempt of 
4 death. These are the highest virtues ; and the fictions which 
4 taught them were therefore of the highest, though not of unmixed 
' utility. Miss Edgeworth inculcates prudence, and the many 
' virtues of that family. Are these excellent virtues higher or more 
' useful than those of fortitude and benevolence ? Certainly not. 
' Where, then, is Miss Edgeworth's merit ? Her merit her 
' extraordinary merit, both as a moralist and as a woman of genius 
' consists in her having selected a class of virtues far more difficult 
' to treat as the subject of fiction than others, and which had there- 
' fore been left by former writers to her." Sir James Mackintosh, 
Life, vol. ii. p. 42. 


walking-stick, at twelve paces, with a single bullet and all 
by eye and calculation ; for my hand is not steady, 1 and 
apt to change with the very weather. To the prowess 
which I here note, Joe Manton and others can bear 
testimony ; for the former taught, and the latter has seen 
me do, these feats. 

Dined visited came home read. Remarked on 
an anecdote in Grimm's Correspondence^ which says that 
" Regnard et la plupart des poe'tes comiques dtaient gens 
"bilieux et melancoliques ; et que M. de Voltaire, qui 
" est tres gai, n'a jamais fait que des tragedies et que la 
" come'die gaie est le seul genre ou il n'ait point re'ussi. 
" C'est que celui qui rit et celui qui fait rire sont deux 
" hommes fort diffe'rens." Vol. VI. 

At this moment I feel as bilious as the best comic 
writer of them all, (even as Regnard 2 himself, the next 
to Moliere, who has written some of the best comedies 
in any language, and who is supposed to have committed 
suicide,) and am not in spirits to continue my proposed 
tragedy of Sardanapahis^ which I have, for some days, 
ceased to compose. 

To-morrow is my birth-day that is to say, at twelve 
o' the clock, midnight, i.e. in twelve minutes, I shall have 
completed thirty and three years of age ! ! ! and I go to 
my bed with a heaviness of heart at having lived so long, 
and to so little purpose. 

1. Medwin (The Angler in Wales, vol. ii. p. 183) says, " It was 
" always a matter of wonder to me how Byron ever struck the mark. 
"His aim was long and his hand trembled as though he had St. 
" Vitus's dance." 

2. To Jean Fra^ois Regnard (1655-1709) is generally assigned, 
as Byron says, the next place after Moliere as a writer of comedies. 
He wrote both for the Theatre Italien and the Theatre Franais ; 
but his best pieces were written for the latter (1694-1708). Among 
them are Lejoueur (1696) ; Le Distrait (1697) ; Les Folies Amoureuses 
(1704) ; Le Ltgataire Universel (1708). There seems no foundation 
for the charge of suicide. 


It is three minutes past twelve. " 'Tis the middle of 
" the night by the castle clock," l and I am now thirty-three ! 

"Eheu, fugaces, Posthume, Posthume, 
Labuntur anni ; " * 

but I don't regret them so much for what I have done, as 
for what I might have done. 

Through life's road, so dim and dirty, 
I have dragged to three-and-thirty. 
What have these years left to me ? 
Nothing except thirty-three. 

January 22, 1821. 
Here lies 
interred in the Eternity 

of the Past, 
from whence there is no 

for the Days Whatever there may be 

for the Dust 

the Thirty-Third Year 

of an ill-spent Life, 

Which, after 

a lingering disease of many months 
sunk into a lethargy, 

and expired, 

January 22d, 1821, A. D. 

Leaving a successor 


for the very loss which 

occasioned its 


1. Coleridge's Christabel, Part I. line I. 

2. Horace, Carm. II. xiv. 1-2. 

1821.] NOTHING BUT WAR. 183 

January 23, 1821. 

Fine day. Read rode fired pistols, and returned. 
Dined read. Went out at eight made the usual visit. 
Heard of nothing but war, " the cry is still, They 
" come." 1 The Carbonari seem to have no plan nothing 
fixed among themselves, how, when, or what to do. In 
that case, they will make nothing of this project, so often 
postponed, and never put in action. 

Came home, and gave some necessary orders, in case 
of circumstances requiring a change of place. I shall 
act according to what may seem proper, when I hear 
decidedly what the Barbarians mean to do. At present, 
they are building a bridge of boats over the Po, which 
looks very warlike. A few days will probably show. I 
think of retiring towards Ancona, nearer the northern 
frontier; that is to say, if Teresa and her father are 
obliged to retire, which is most likely, as all the family 
are Liberals. If not, I shall stay. But my movements 
will depend upon the lady's wishes for myself, it is much 
the same. 

I am somewhat puzzled what to do with my little 
daughter, and my effects, which are of some quantity and 
value, and neither of them do in the seat of war, where 
I think of going. But there is an elderly lady who will 
take charge of her, and T. says that the Marchese C. will 
undertake to hold the chattels in safe keeping. Half the 
city are getting their affairs in marching trim. A pretty 
Carnival ! The blackguards might as well have waited 
till Lent. 

January 24, 1821. 

Returned met some masques in the Corso Vive la 
bagatelle ! the Germans are on the Po, the Barbarians at 
I. Macbeth^ act v. sc. 5. 


the gate, and their masters in council at Leybach (or 
whatever the eructation of the sound may syllable into 
a human pronunciation), and lo ! they dance and sing 
and make merry, " for to-morrow they may die." Who 
can say that the Arlequins are not right ? Like the Lady 
Baussiere, and my old friend Burton I " rode on." J 

Dined (damn this pen !) beef tough there is no 
beef in Italy worth a curse ; unless a man could eat an 
old ox with the hide on, singed in the sun. 

The principal persons in the events which may occur 
in a few days are gone out on a shooting party. If it 
were like a " highland hunting," a pretext of the chase 
for a grand re-union of counsellors and chiefs, it would 
be all very well. But it is nothing more or less than a 
real snivelling, popping, small-shot, water-hen waste of 
powder, ammunition, and shot, for their own special 
amusement : a rare set of fellows for " a man to risk his 
"neck with," as "Marishall Wells" says in the Black 

If they gather, " whilk is to be doubted," they will 
not muster a thousand men. The reason of this is, that 
the populace are not interested, only the higher and 
middle orders. I wish that the peasantry were ; they are 

1. "The Lady Baussiere had got into a wilderness of conceits, 
' with moralizing too intricately upon La Fosseus^s text She 

mounted her palfrey, her page followed her the host passed by 
' the Lady Baussiere rode on. 

'"One denier,' cried the Order of Mercy ' one single denier, in 
1 behalf of a thousand patient captives, whose eyes look towards 

heaven and you for their redemption.' 

" The Lady Baussiere rode on." Tristram Shandy, bk. v. 

chap. i. 

Byron was a devoted admirer of Burton's Anatomy of Melancfioly, 
and, like him in his part of " Democritus Junior," and like the 
Italians, laughed at misfortunes. 

2. " ' For my part, I won't enter my horse for such a plate,' said 
' ' Mareschal ; and added, betwixt his teeth, ' A pretty pair of fellows 
" to trust a man's neck with.' " The Black Dwarf, chap. xiii. 


a fine savage race of two-legged leopards. But the 
Bolognese won't the Romagnuoles can't without them. 
Or, if they try what then ? They will try, and man can 
do no more and, if he would but try his utmost, much 
might be done. The Dutch, for instance, against the 
Spaniards then the tyrants of Europe, since, the slaves, 
and, lately, the freedmen. 

The year 1820 was not a fortunate one for the indi- 
vidual me, whatever it may be for the nations. I lost a 
lawsuit, after two decisions in my favour. The project 
of lending money on an Irish mortgage was finally rejected 
by my wife's trustee after a year's hope and trouble. The 
Rochdale lawsuit had endured fifteen years, and always 
prospered till I married; since which, every thing has 
gone wrong with me at least. 

In the same year, 1820, the Countess T. G. nata 
G ! . G 1 ., in despite of all I said and did to prevent it, 
woiild separate from her husband, II Cavalier Commen- 
datore G'., etc., etc., etc., and all on the account of " P. P. 
" clerk of this parish." 1 The other little petty vexations 
of the year overturns in carriages the murder of people 
before one's door, and dying in one's beds the cramp 
in swimming colics indigestions and bilious attacks, 
etc., etc., etc. 

" Many small articles make up a sum, 
And hey ho for Caleb Quotem, oh ! " * 

1. Alluding to Pope's Memoirs of P.P. Clerk of this Parish, 
which were probably intended, though Pope denied it in his Prole- 
gomena to the Dunciad, as a skit on Bishop Burnet's History of my 
own Times. See Papers Works, ed. Elwin and Courthope, vol. x. 
P- 435- 

2. " Many small articles make up a sum ; 

I dabble in all I'm merry and rum ; 
And 'tis heigho ! for Caleb Quotem, O ! " 

The Review, or the Wags of Windsor (by George Colman the 
Younger), sc. 4. 


January 25, 1821. 

Received a letter from Lord S. O., 1 state secretary of 
the Seven Islands a fine fellow clever dished in Eng- 
land five years ago, and came abroad to retrench and 
to renew. He wrote from Ancona, in his way back to 
Corfu, on some matters of our own. He is son of the 
late Duke of L[eeds] by a second marriage. He wants 
me to go to Corfu. Why not? perhaps I may, next 

Answered Murray's letter read lounged. Scrawled 
this additional page of life's log-book. One day more is 
over of it and of me : but " which is best, life or death, 
" the gods only know," as Socrates said to his judges, on 
the breaking up of the tribunal. 2 Two thousand years 
since that sage's declaration of ignorance have not en- 
lightened us more upon this important point ; for, accord- 
ing to the Christian dispensation, no one can know 
whether he is sure of salvation even the most righteous 
since a single slip of faith may throw him on his back, 
like a skaiter, while gliding smoothly to his paradise. 
Now, therefore, whatever the certainty of faith in the 
facts may be, the certainty of the individual as to his 
happiness or misery is no greater than it was under 

It has been said that the immortality of the soul is a 

1. Sidney Godolphin Osborne (1789-1861), son of Francis 
Godolphin, fifth Duke of Leeds, by his second wife, Catherine, 
daughter of Thomas Anguish. He was therefore stepson to Lady 
Amelia d'Arcy, afterwards Baroness Conyers in her own right, who 
married (l) the Marquis of Carmarthen, afterwards fifth Duke of 
Leeds, from whom she was divorced in 1779 ; and (2) Captain Byron, 
father of the poet, by whom she was the mother of Augusta Leigh. 

2. " Sed tempus est," inquit, "jam hinc abire, me ut moriar, vos 
" ut vitam agatis. Utrum autem sit melius, Dii immortales sciunt : 
"hominem quidem scire arbitror neminem." Cicero, Tusc. Quast., 

1 82 1.] TRE CROC/. 187 

grand peut-etre but still it is a grand one. Every body 
clings to it the stupidest, and dullest, and wickedest of 
human bipeds is still persuaded that he is immortal. 

January 26, 1821. 

Fine day a few mares' tails portending change, but 
the sky clear, upon the whole. Rode fired pistols 
good shooting. Coming back, met an old man. Charity 
purchased a shilling's worth of salvation. If that was 
to be bought, I have given more to my fellow-creatures 
in this life sometimes for vice, but, if not more often, at 
least more considerably, for virtue than I now possess. 
I never in my life gave a mistress so much as I have 
sometimes given a poor man in honest distress ; but no 
matter. The scoundrels who have all along persecuted 
me (with the help of * * who has crowned their efforts) 
will triumph ; and, when justice is done to me, it will be 
when this hand that writes is as cold as the hearts which 
have stung me. 

Returning, on the bridge near the mill, met an old 
woman. I asked her age she said " Tre croci" * I asked 
my groom (though myself a decent Italian) what the devil 
her three crosses meant. He said, ninety years, and that 
she had five years more to boot ! ! I repeated the same 
three times not to mistake ninety-five years ! ! ! and 
she was yet rather active heard my question, for she 
answered it saw me, for she advanced towards me ; and 
did not appear at all decrepit, though certainly touched 
with years. Told her to come to-morrow, and will 
examine her myself. I love phenomena. If she is 

I. A croce = ten years; therefore tre croci = thirty years (i.e. 
XXX.). " Probably," said Signer Sabastiani Fusconi (himself 
exiled with the Gambas in 1821) to Mr. Richard Edgcumbe, "the 
"old woman replied, Tre Ire croci," i.e. ninety years. Byron gave 
her a pension during the rest of her life. 


ninety-five years old, she must recollect the Cardinal 
Alberoni, 1 who was legate here. 

On dismounting, found Lieutenant E. just arrived 
from Faenza. Invited him to dine with me to-morrow. 
Did not invite him for to-day, because there was a small 
turbotj (Friday, fast regularly and religiously, 2 ) which I 
wanted to eat all myself. Ate it. 

Went out found T. as usual music. The gentle- 
men, who make revolutions and are gone on a shooting, 
are not yet returned. They don't return till Sunday 
that is to say, they have been out for five days, buffoon- 
ing, while the interests of a whole country are at stake, 
and even they themselves compromised. 

It is a difficult part to play amongst such a set of 
assassins and blockheads but, when the scum is skimmed 
off, or has boiled over, good may come of it. If this 
country could but be freed, what would be too great for 
the accomplishment of that desire? for the extinction 
of that Sigh of Ages ? Let us hope. They have hoped 
these thousand years. The very revolvement of the 
chances may bring it it is upon the dice. 

If the Neapolitans have but a single Massaniello 3 

1. Alberoni (1664-1752), the son of a gardener of Placentia, 
through the Duke of Parma and his niece, Elizabeth Farnese, Queen 
of Spain, rose to be the ruler of Spain from 1715 to I7i9,under Philip 
V. After his downfall he returned to Italy, his native country, 
suffered, at the hands of Pope Innocent III., a sort of imprisonment 
which lasted four years, was restored to his rights as cardinal in 
1723, and made legate to the Romagna (1734-39). As legate, 
in 1739, he endeavoured to unite the republic of San Marino to the 
Papal dominions, representing to Clement XII. that it was a second 
Geneva. The attempt failed, and in 1740 Alberoni was removed 
by Benedict XIV. from the Romagna to Bologna. The story is told 
in Lady Morgan's Italy (vol. iii. pp. 236, 237), where it was possibly 
read by Byron. 

2. "Byron," says Medwin (The Angler in Wales, vol. i. p. 118), 
' ' who was a ' virtuous man ' in FalstafFs sense of the word, had great 
'' faith in abstinence, for on Friday he would not touch beccaficas." 

3. Tommaso Aniello (1623-1647), a fisherman of Amalfi, headed a 


amongst them, they will beat the bloody butchers of the 
crown and sabre. Holland, in worse circumstances, beat 
the Spains and Philips ; America beat the English ; 
Greece beat Xerxes; and France beat Europe, till she 
took a tyrant ; South America beats her old vultures out 
of their nest ; and, if these men are but firm in them- 
selves, there is nothing to shake them from without. 

January 28, 1821. 

Lugano Gazette did not come. Letters from Venice. 
It appears that the Austrian brutes have seized my three 
or four pounds of English powder. The scoundrels ! I 
hope to pay them in ball for that powder. Rode out 
till twilight. 

Pondered the subjects of four tragedies to be written 
(life and circumstances permitting), to wit, Sardanapalus, 
already begun; Cain, a metaphysical subject, something 
in the style of Manfred, but in five acts, perhaps, with the 
chorus ; Francesca of Rimini, in five acts ; and I am not 
sure that I would not try Tiberius. I think that I could 
extract a something, of my tragic, at least, out of the 
gloomy sequestration and old age of the tyrant and 
even out of his sojourn at Caprea by softening the 
details, and exhibiting the despair which must have led 
to those very vicious pleasures. For none but a powerful 
and gloomy mind overthrown would have had recourse 
to such solitary horrors, being also, at the same time, 
o Id, and the master of the world. 


What is Poetry ? The feeling of a Former world and 

rising of the Neapolitans in 1647, and compelled the Spanish Viceroy, 
Arcos, to abolish unpopular taxes, and to proclaim an amnesty. But 
his cruelty alienated his followers, and, after being master of Naples 
for seven days, he was assassinated by order of the viceroy. 


Thoiight Second. 

Why, at the very height of desire and human pleasure, 
worldly, social, amorous, ambitious, or even avaricious, 
does there mingle a certain sense of doubt and sorrow 
a fear of what is to come a doubt of what is a retro- 
spect to the past, leading to a prognostication of the 
future ? (The best of Prophets of the future is the Past.) 
Why is this, or these? I know not, except that on a 
pinnacle we are most susceptible of giddiness, and that 
we never fear falling except from a precipice the higher, 
the more awful, and the more sublime ; and, therefore, I 
am not sure that Fear is not a pleasurable sensation ; at 
least, Hope is; and what Hope is there without a deep 
leaven of Fear? and what sensation is so delightful as 
Hope? and, if it were not for Hope, where would the 
Future be? in hell. It is useless to say where the 
Present is, for most of us know ; and as for the Past, 
what predominates in memory? Hope baffled. Ergo, 
in all human affairs, it is Hope Hope Hope. I allow 
sixteen minutes, though I never counted them, to any 
given or supposed possession. From whatever place we 
commence,, we know where it all must end. And yet, 
what good is there in knowing it? It does not make 
men better or wiser. During the greatest horrors of the 
greatest plagues, (Athens and Florence, for example 
see Thucydides and Machiavelli,) men were more cruel 
and profligate than ever. It is all a mystery. I feel 
most things, but I know nothing, except 

i. " Thus marked, with impatient strokes of the pen, by himself 
" in the original " (Moore). 


Thought for a Speech of Lucifer, in the Tragedy of Cain: 

Were Death an evil, would / let thee live ? 
Fool ! live as I live as thy father lives, 
And thy son's sons shall live for evermore. 

Past Midnight. One o' the clock. 

I have been reading Frederick Schlegel 1 (brother to 
the other of the name) till now, and I can make out 
nothing. He evidently shows a great power of words, 
but there is nothing to be taken hold of. He is like 
Hazlitt, in English, who talks pimpks a red and white 
corruption rising up (in little imitation of mountains upon 
maps), but containing nothing, and discharging nothing, 
except their own humours. 

I dislike him the worse, (that is, Schlegel,) because he 
always seems upon the verge of meaning; and, lo, he 
goes down like sunset, or melts like a rainbow, leaving a 
rather rich confusion, to which, however, the above 
comparisons do too much honour. 

Continuing to read Mr. Frederick Schlegel. He is 
not such a fool as I took him for, that is to say, when he 
speaks of the North. But still he speaks of things all 
over the world with a kind of authority that a philosopher 
would disdain, and a man of common sense, feeling, and 
knowledge of his own ignorance, would be ashamed of. 
The man is evidently wanting to make an impression, 
like his brother, or like George in the Vicar of Wake- 
field, who found out that all the good things had been 
said already on the right side, and therefore " dressed up 

I. Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel (1772-1829) began his lite- 
rary career with his novel Z.ucmde(i'jgg). His Sprache und Weisheit 
der Indier (1808), chiefly composed in Paris, introduced Sanskrit to 
Europe. Byron was probably reading his History of Literature, 
lectures delivered at Vienna (1814) and translated at Edinburgh in 


" some paradoxes " upon the wrong side ingenious, but 
false, as he himself says to which " the learned world 
"said nothing, nothing at all, sir." 1 The "learned 
" world," however, has said something to the brothers 

It is high time to think of something else. What 
they say of the antiquities of the North is best. 

January 29, 1821. 

Yesterday, the woman of ninety-five years of age was 
with me. She said her eldest son (if now alive) would 
have been seventy. She is thin short, but active hears, 
and sees, and talks incessantly. Several teeth left all in 
the lower jaw, and single front teeth. She is very deeply 
wrinkled, and has a sort of scattered grey beard over her 
chin, at least as long as my mustachios. Her head, in 
fact, resembles the drawing in crayons of Pope the poet's 
mother, which is in some editions of his works. 

I forgot to ask her if she remembered Alberoni 
(legate here), but will ask her next time. Gave her a 
louis ordered her a new suit of clothes, and put her 
upon a weekly pension. Till now, she had worked at 
gathering wood and pine-nuts in the forest pretty work 
at ninety-five years old ! She had a dozen children, of 
whom some are alive. Her name is Maria Montanari. 

Met a company of the sect (a kind of Liberal Club) 
called the Americani in the forest, all armed, and singing, 
with all their might, in Romagnuole " Sem tutti soldat' 
" per la liberta " (" we are all soldiers for liberty "). They 

I . " ' Finding that the best things remained to be said on the wrong 
' side, I resolved to write a book that should be wholly new. I 
' therefore dressed up three paradoxes with ingenuity. They were 
' false indeed, but they were new.' ' Well said, my boy,' cried I, 
' ' and what did the learned world say to your paradoxes ? ' ' Sir,' 
' replied my son, ' the learned world said nothing to my paradoxes ; 
' nothing at all, Sir.' " Vicar of Wakefield, chap. xx. 


cheered me as I passed I returned their salute, and 
rode on. This may show the spirit of Italy at present. 

My to-day's journal consists of what I omitted yester- 
day. To-day was much as usual. Have rather a better 
opinion of the writings of the Schlegels than I had four- 
and-twenty hours ago ; and will amend it still further, if 

They say that the Piedmontese have at length arisen 
fa ira ! 

Read Schlegel. Of Dante he says, " that at no time 
" has the greatest and most national of all Italian poets 
" ever been much the favourite of his countrymen." 'Tis 
false ! There have been more editors and commentators 
(and imitators, ultimately) of Dante than of all their 
poets put together. Not a favourite ! Why, they talk 
Dante write Dante and think and dream Dante at 
this moment (1821) to an excess, which would be ridicu- 
lous, but that he deserves it. 1 

In the same style this German talks of gondolas on 
the Arno 2 a precious fellow to dare to speak of Italy ! 

He says also that Dante's chief defect is a want, in 

1. In lecture ix. (Lectures on the History of Literature, ed. 1841, 
p. 237) Schlegel says of Dante, "The truth is, that at no time has 
" the greatest and most national of all Italian poets ever been much 
" the favourite of his countrymen." Again (ibid., p. 238), he says, 
" His chief defect is, in a word, a want of gentle feelings." 

" I don't wonder," said Byron, " at the enthusiasm of the Italians 
" about Dante. He is the poet of liberty. Persecution, exile, the 
" dread of a foreign grave, could not shake his principles. There is 
" no Italian gentleman, scarcely any well-educated girl, that has not 
"all the finer passages of Dante at the fingers' ends ; particularly 
" the Ravennese. The Guiccioli, for instance, could almost repeat 
" any part of the Divine Comedy ; and, I dare say, is well read in 
" the VitaNuova, that prayer-book of love." Medwin, Convtrsations 
of Lord Byron, p. 242. 

2. In lecture xi. (Lectures on the History of Literature, p. 297), 
speaking of Tasso, Schlegel says, " Individual parts and episodes of 
" his poem are frequently sung in the gondolas of the Arno and the 
" Po." 

VOL. V. O 


a word, of gentle feelings. Of gentle feelings ! and 
Francesca of Rimini and the father's feelings in Ugolino 
and Beatrice and " La Pia ! " Why, there is gentle- 
ness in Dante beyond all gentleness, when he is tender. 
It is true that, treating of the Christian Hades, or Hell, 
there is not much scope or site for gentleness but who 
but Dante could have introduced any "gentleness" at all 
into Hell? Is there any in Milton's? No and Dante's 
Heaven is all love, and glory and majesty. 

One o'clock. 

I have found out, however, where the German is right 
it is about the Vicar of Wakefield. " Of all romances 
"in miniature (and, perhaps, this is the best shape in 
" which Romance can appear) the Vicar of Wakefield is, I 
" think, the most exquisite." * He thinks ! he might be 
sure. But it is very well for a Schlegel. I feel sleepy, 
and may as well get me to bed. To-morrow there will be 
fine weather. 

" Trust on, and think to-morrow will repay." * 

January 30, 1821. 

The Count P. G. this evening (by commission from 
the Ci.) transmitted to me the new words for the next 
six months. * * * and * * *. The new sacred word is 
* * * the reply * * * the rejoinder * * *. The former 
word (now changed) was * * * there is also * * * * * *. 3 
Things seem fast coming to a crisis fa ira ! 

1. History of Literature^ lecture xiv. p. 367. 

2. " When I consider life, 'tis all a cheat. 

Yet fool'd with hope, men favour the deceit ; 
Trust on, and think to-morrow will repay ; 
To-morrow's falser than the former day." 

Dryden's Aureitgzebe, act iv. sc. I. 

3. "In the original MS. these watchwords are blotted over so as 
" to be illegible" (Moore). 


We talked over various matters of moment and move- 
ment. These I omit; if they come to any thing, they 
will speak for themselves. After these, we spoke of 
Kosciusko. 1 Count R. G. told me that he has seen the 
Polish officers in the Italian war burst into tears on 
hearing his name. 

Something must be up in Piedmont all the letteis 
and papers are stopped. Nobody knows anything, and 
the Germans are concentrating near Mantua. Of the 
decision of Leybach nothing is known. This state of 
things cannot last long. The ferment in men's minds at 
present cannot be conceived without seeing it. 

January 31, 1821. 

For several days I have not written any thing except 
a few answers to letters. In momentary expectation of 
an explosion of some kind, it is not easy to settle down 
to the desk for the higher kinds of composition. I could 
do it, to be sure, for, last summer, I wrote my drama in 
the very bustle of Madame la Contessa G.'s divorce, and 
all its process of accompaniments. At the same time, I 
also had the news of the loss of an important lawsuit in 
England. But these were only private and personal 
business ; the present is of a different nature. 

I suppose it is this, but have some suspicion that it 
may be laziness, which prevents me from writing ; 
especially as Rochefoucalt says that " laziness often 
" masters them all " 2 speaking of the passions. If this 

1. Thaddeus Kosciusko (1746-1817) commanded the national 
forces of Poland against Russia in 1794. Defeated and taken 
prisoner at Maciejowice, October 10, 1794, he died in 1817 at Soleure, 
in Switzerland. 

2. " C'est se tromper que de croire qu'il n'y ait que les violentes 
" passions, comme 1'ambition et 1'amour, qui puissent triompher des 
" autres. La paresse, toute languissante qu'elle est, ne laisse pas d'en 
"etre souvent la maltresse ; elle usurpe sur tous les desseins et sur 


were true, it could hardly be said that " idleness is the 
" root of all evil," since this is supposed to spring from 
the passions only : ergo, that which masters all the passions 
(laziness, to wit) would in so much be a good. Who 
knows ? 


I have been reading Grimm's Cowespondence. 1 He 
repeats frequently, in speaking of a poet, or a man of 
genius in any department, even in music, (Gre'try, for 
instance,) that he must have une ame qui se tourmente, tin 
esprit violent. How far this may be true, I know not; 
but if it were, I should be a poet "per excellenza ; " for I 
have always had tine ante, which not only tormented itself 
but every body else in contact with it; and an esprit 
violent, which has almost left me without any esprit at all. 
As to defining what a poet should be, it is not worth 
while, for what are they worth ? what have they done ? 

Grimm, however, is an excellent critic and literary 
historian. His Correspondence forms the annals of the 
literary part of that age of France, with much of her 

" toutes les actions de la vie ; elle y detruit et y consume insensible- 
" ment les passions et les vertus " (Reflections Morales, cclxxiv.). 

I. Friedrich Melchior Grimm (1723-1807) served as reader to the 
Duke of Saxe Coburg, then acted as secretary to the Due d'Orleans 
at Paris, where he made the acquaintance of Diderot, Raynal, Suard, 
and other literary men of the day. He was appointed Plenipotentiary 
at the court of France and the Duke of Saxe Coburg, who also 
raised him to the rank of baron. His correspondence with the 
duke, the Empress Catherine, Frederick the Great, and other 
potentates, is a lively chronicle of scandal, politics, and literature in 
France from 1753 to 1793. 

Speaking of St. Lambert (Correspondence, ed. Tourneux, vol. viii. 
p. 289, note), he says, " Que lui manque-t-il done pour etre un 
"poete? Ce qui lui manque, c'est une ame qui se tourmente, un 
"esprit violent, une imagination forte et brillante, etc., etc." 

So again, speaking of Gre'try, he says (ibid., September, 1768), 
" M. Gretri est de Liege ; il est jeune, il a 1'air pale, bleme, souffrant, 
" tourmente, tous les symptomes d'un homme de genie." 

i82i.] ST. LAMBERT'S SAJSO&S. 197 

politics, and still more of her " way of life." He is as 
valuable, and far more entertaining than Muratori 1 or 
Tiraboschi 2 I had almost said, than Ginguend 3 but 
there we should pause. However, 't is a great man in its 

Monsieur St. Lambert * has, 

" Et lorsqu' a ses regards la lumiere est ravie, 
II n'a plus, en mourant, a perdre que la vie." 

This is, word for word, Thomson's 

" And dying, all we can resign is breath," 
without the smallest acknowledgment from the Lorrainer 
of a poet. M. St. Lambert is dead as a man, and (for 
any thing I know to the contrary) damned, as a poet, by 
this time. However, his Seasons have good things, and, 
it may be, some of his own. 

1. Ludovico Antonio Muratori (1672-1750) published, among 
other learned works, his Rerum Italicarum Scriptores pracipui ab 
Anno 500 ad Annum 1500, 29 vols., fol., 1723-51, at Milan. 

2. Geronimo Tiraboschi (1731-1794) published his Storia della 
Letteratura Italiana, 13 vols., 410, 1772-82, at Modena. 

3. See p. 154, note I. 

4. Fran9ois, Marquis de St. Lambert (1716-1803), born at Vezelise 
in Lorraine, began life as a soldier and a courtier in the service of 
Stanislas II., of Poland and Lorraine. In 1756 he devoted himself 
to a literary career, associated himself with Helvetius and the French 
philosophical school of the day, contributed to the Encyclopedic^ 
published several volumes of poetry, tales, memoirs, and philosophy, 
and spent the last years of his life at Eaubonne, near Montmorency, 
in the society of Madame d'Houdetot. His Saisons appeared in 
1769. The passage to which Byron refers occurs in " L'Automne" 
(Chant troisieme) 

' ' II voit autour de lui tout perir, tout changer, 
A la race nouvelle il se trouve etranger ; 
Et lorsqu' a ses regards la lumiere est ravie, 
II n'a plus en mourant a perdre que la vie." 

In Thomson's " verses occasioned by the death of Mr. Aikman " 
occurs the line to which Byron refers 

' ' Unhappy he who latest feels the blow, 

Whose eyes have wept o'er every friend laid low, 
Dragg'd lingering on from partial death to death, 
Till, dying, all he can resign is breath." 


February 2, 1821. 

I have been considering what can be the reason why 
I always wake, at a certain hour in the morning, and 
always in very bad spirits I may say, in actual despair 
and despondency, in all respects even of that which 
pleased me over night. In about an hour or two, this 
goes off, and I compose either to sleep again, or, at least, 
to quiet. In England, five years ago, I had the same 
kind of hypochondria, but accompanied with so violent a 
thirst that I have drank as many as fifteen bottles of soda- 
water in one night, after going to bed, and been still 
thirsty calculating, however, some lost from the bursting 
out and effervescence and overflowing of the soda-water, 
in drawing the corks, or striking off the necks of the 
bottles from mere thirsty impatience. At present, I have 
not the thirst ; but the depression of spirits is no less 

I read in Edgeworth's Memoirs of something similar 
(except that his thirst expended itself on small beer) in 
the case of Sir F. B. Delaval ; * but then he was, at 
least, twenty years older. What is it ? liver ? In Eng- 
land, Le Man (the apothecary) cured me of the thirst in 
three days, and it had lasted as many years. I suppose 
that it is all hypochondria. 

What I feel most growing upon me are laziness, and 
a disrelish more powerful than indifference. If I rouse, 

I. " His friends, perhaps to obviate any suspicion of his having 
' destroyed himself, had his body opened, and the physician who 
' attended informed me that his death was probably occasioned by 
' an unnatural distension of his stomach, which seemed to have lost 
' the power of collapsing. This they attributed to his drinking 
' immoderate quantities of water and small beer. He always had a 
' large jug of beer left by his bedside at night, which was usually 
' empty before morning. . . . Whether this was cause or effect still 
' remains uncertain." Memoirs of R. L. Edgeworth, ed. 1844, p. 
97, note. 

1821.] THE KILN IN A LOW. 199 

it is into fury. I presume that I shall end (if not earlier 
by accident, or some such termination), like Swift 
"dying at top." I confess I do not contemplate this 
with so much horror as he apparently did for some years 
before it happened. But Swift had hardly begun life at 
the very period (thirty-three) when I feel quite an old sort 
of feel. 

Oh ! there is an organ playing in the street a waltz, 
too ! I must leave off to listen. They are playing a 
waltz which I have heard ten thousand times at the balls 
in London, between 1812 and 1815. Music is a strange 

February 5, 1821. 

At last, " the kiln's in a low." 1 The Germans are 
ordered to march, and Italy is, for the ten thousandth 
time to become a field of battle. Last night the news 

This afternoon Count P. G. came to me to consult 
upon divers matters. We rode out together. They have 
sent off to the C. for orders. To-morrow the decision 
ought to arrive, and then something will be done. Re- 
turned dined read went out talked over matters. 
Made a purchase of some arms for the new enrolled 
Americani, who are all on tiptoe to march. Gave order 
for some harness and portmanteaus necessary for the 

Read some of Bowles's dispute about Pope, with all 
the replies and rejoinders. Perceive that my name has 

I. When the Highland clans broke out in revolt in 1715, Andrew 
Fairservice bounced into Francis Osbaldistone's room " like a mad- 
" man, jumping up and down, and singing, with more vehemence 
" than tune 

" ' The kiln's on fire the kiln's on fire 
The kiln's on fire she's a' in a lowe.' " 

Rob Roy, ed. 1836, vol. ii. chap. xx. 


been lugged into the controversy, but have not time to 
state what I know of the subject. On some " piping day 
" of peace " * it is probable that I may resume it. 

February 9, 1821. 

Before dinner wrote a little ; also, before I rode out, 
Count P. G. called upon me, to let me know the result of 
the meeting of the Ci. at F. and at B. * * returned late 
last night. Every thing was combined under the idea 
that the Barbarians would pass the Po on the i5th inst. 
Instead of this, from some previous information or other- 
wise, they have hastened their march and actually passed 
two days ago ; so that all that can be done at present in 
Romagna is, to stand on the alert and wait for the 
advance of the Neapolitans. Every thing was ready, 
and the Neapolitans had sent on their own instructions 
and intentions, all calculated for the tenth and eleventh, 
on which days a general rising was to take place, under 
the supposition that the Barbarians could not advance 
before the isth. 

As it is, they have but fifty or sixty thousand troops, 
a number with which they might as well attempt to 
conquer the world as secure Italy in its present state. 
The artillery marches last, and alone, and there is an 
idea of an attempt to cut part of them off. All this will 
much depend upon the first steps of the Neapolitans. 
Here, the public spirit is excellent, provided it be kept 
up. This will be seen by the event. 

It is probable that Italy will be delivered from the 
Barbarians if the Neapolitans will but stand firm, and 
are united among themselves. Here they appear so. 

i. " This weak piping time of peace." 

Richard III., act i. sc. I. 


February 10, 1821. 

Day passed as usual nothing new. Barbarians still 
in march not well equipped, and, of course, not well 
received on their route. There is some talk of a commo- 
tion at Paris. 

Rode out between four and six finished my letter to 
Murray on Bowles's pamphlets 1 added postscript. Passed 
the evening as usual out till eleven and subsequently 
at home. 

February ir, 1821. 

Wrote had a copy taken of an extract from Petrarch's 
Letters, 2 with reference to the conspiracy of the Doge, 
Marino Faliero, containing the poet's opinion of the 
matter. Heard a heavy firing of cannon towards Co- 
macchio the Barbarians rejoicing for their principal pig's 
birthday, which is to-morrow or Saint day I forget 
which. Received a ticket for the first ball to-morrow. 
Shall not go to the first, but intend going to the second, 
as also to the Veglioni. 

February 13, 1821. 

To-day read a little in Louis B.'s Hollande? but have 
written nothing since the completion of the letter on the 
Pope controversy. Politics are quite misty for the present. 
The Barbarians still upon their march. It is not easy to 
divine what the Italians will now do. 

Was elected yesterday Socio of the Carnival Ball 
Society. This is the fifth carnival that I have passed. 

1. See Appendix III. for Byron's Letter in reply to Bowles's 
strictures on Pope. 

2. An Italian version of the extract from Petrarch's Letters is 
quoted in the notes to Marino Faliero, Appendix, Note B. 

3. Documents Historiques^ et Reflexions sur le Gouverneinent de la 
Hollande (3 vols. 8vo), by Louis Buonaparte, ex-King of Holland, 
was published at Paris in 1820. 


In the four former, I racketed a good deal. In the 
present, I have been as sober as Lady Grace herself. 

February 14, 1821. 

Much as usual. Wrote, before riding out, part of a 
scene of Sardanapalus. The first act nearly finished. 
The rest of the day and evening as before partly with- 
out, in conversazione partly at home. 

Heard the particulars of the late fray at Russi, a town 
not far from this. It is exactly the fact of Romeo and 
Giulietta not Romeo, as the Barbarian writes it. Two 
families of Contadini (peasants) are at feud. At a ball, 
the younger part of the families forget their quarrel, and 
dance together. An old man of one of them enters, 
and reproves the young men for dancing with the females 
of the opposite family. The male relatives of the latter 
resent this. Both parties rush home and arm themselves. 
They meet directly, by moonlight, in the public way, and 
fight it out. Three are killed on the spot, and six 
wounded, most of them dangerously, pretty well for two 
families, methinks and all /art", of the last week. Another 
assassination has taken place at Cesenna in all about 
forty in Romagna within the last three months. These 
people retain much of the middle ages. 

February 15, 1821. 

Last night finished the first act of Sardanapalns. 
To-night, or to-morrow, I ought to answer letters. 

February 16, 1821. 

Last night II Conte P. G. sent a man with a bag full 
of bayonets, some muskets, and some hundreds of cart- 
ridges to my house, without apprizing me, though I had 

1 82 1.] FIRST BLOOD. 203 

seen him not half an hour before. About ten days ago, 
when there was to be a rising here, the Liberals and my 
brethren C'. asked me to purchase some arms for a certain 
few of our ragamuffins. I did so immediately, and ordered 
ammunition, etc., and they were armed accordingly. 
Well the rising is prevented by the Barbarians marching 
a week sooner than appointed; and an order is issued, 
and in force, by the Government, " that all persons having 
" arms concealed, etc., etc., shall be liable to, etc., etc." 
and what do my friends, the patriots, do two days after- 
wards ? Why, they throw back upon my hands, and into 
my house, these very arms (without a word of warning 
previously) with which I had furnished them at their own 
request, and at my own peril and expense. 

It was lucky that Lega was at home to receive them. 
If any of the servants had (except Tita and F. and Lega) 
they would have betrayed it immediately. In the mean 
time, if they are denounced or discovered, I shall be in a 

At nine went out at eleven returned. Beat the 
crow for stealing the falcon's victuals. Read Tales of 
my Landlord wrote a letter and mixed a moderate 
beaker of water with other ingredients. 

February 18, 1821. 

The news are that the Neapolitans have broken a 
bridge, and slain four pontifical carabiniers, whilk cara- 
biniers wished to oppose. Besides the disrespect to 
neutrality, it is a pity that the first blood shed in this 
German quarrel should be Italian. However, the war 
seems begun in good earnest : for, if the Neapolitans kill 
the Pope's carabiniers, they will not be more delicate to- 
wards the Barbarians. If it be even so, in a short time 
" there will be news o' thae craws," as Mrs. Alison Wilson 


says of Jenny Blane's " unco cockernony " in the Tales of 
my Landlord. 1 

In turning over Grimm's Correspondence to-day, I 
found a thought of Tom Moore's in a song of Maupertuis 2 
to a female Laplander 

" Et tous les lieux 
Ou sont ses yeux, 
Font la zone brulante." 

This is Moore's, 

" And those eyes make my climate, wherever I roam." 

But I am sure that Moore never saw it; for this was 
published in Grimm's Correspondence, in 1813, and I knew 
Moore's by heart in 1812. There is also another, but an 
antithetical coincidence 

" Le soleil luit, 

Des jours sans nuit 
Bientot il nous destine ; 

1. " But I doubt the daughter's a silly thing an unco cockernony 
" she had busked on her head at the kirk last Sunday." Mrs. Alison 
Wilson, in Old Mortality, chap. v. 

2. Pierre Louis Moreau de Maupertuis (1698-1759) " pretendait 
" avoir congu une passion violente pour une jeune Laponne qu'il 
" avait amenee en France, et qui y est morte. II aimait a chanter 
"des couplets qu'il avait fails pour elle sous le p&le, et qu'il faut 
' ' conserver ici 

" Pour fuir 1'amour, 

En vain Ton court 
Jusqu'au cercle polaire ; 

Dieux ! qui croiroit 

Qu'en cet endroit 
On cut trouv Cythere ! 

' ' Dans les frimas 

De ces climats, 
Christine nous enchante ; 

Et tous les lieux 

Oil sont ses yeux 
Font la zone brulante." 

Etc., etc. Grimm's Correspondance, ed. Tourneux, vol. vii. pp. 
180, 181. 


Mais ces longs jours 
Seront trop courts, 
Passes pres de Christine." 

This is the thought reversed, of the last stanza of the ballad 
on Charlotte Lynes, given in Miss Seward's Memoirs of 
Darwin^ which is pretty I quote from memory of these 
last fifteen years. 

" For my first night I'd go 

To those regions of snow, 
Where the sun for six months never shines ; 

And think, even then, 

He too soon came again, 
To disturb me with fair Charlotte Lynes." ' 

To-day I have had no communication with my 
Carbonari cronies; but, in the mean time, my lower 
apartments are full of their bayonets, fusils, cartridges, 
and what not. I suppose that they consider me as a 
depot, to be sacrificed, in case of accidents. It is no 
great matter, supposing that Italy could be liberated, who 
or what is sacrificed. It is a grand object the very poetry 
of politics. Only think a free Italy ! ! ! Why, there has 
been nothing like it since the days of Augustus. I reckon 
the times of Caesar (Julius) free ; because the commotions 
left every body a side to take, and the parties were pretty 
equal at the set out. But, afterwards, it was all praetorian 
and legionary business and since ! we shall see, or, at 
least, some will see, what card will turn up. It is best to 
hope, even of the hopeless. The Dutch did more than 
these fellows have to do, in the Seventy Years' War. 

I. "At a convivial meeting of Lichfield gentlemen, most of 
"whom could make agreeable verses, it was proposed that every 
" person in company should give a ballad or epigram on the lady 
" whose health he drank. Mr. Vyse toasted Miss Lynes, and, taking 
"out his pencil, wrote the stanzas extempore" (Seward's Memoirs 
of Dr. Darwin, pp. 72-74). Of the stanzas, which are nine in 
number, that quoted by Byron is the last. 


February 19, 1821. 

Came home solus very high wind lightning moon- 
shine solitary stragglers muffled in cloaks women in 
masks white houses clouds hurrying over the sky, like 
spilt milk blown out of the pail altogether very poetical. 
It is still blowing hard the tiles flying, and the house 
rocking rain splashing lightning flashing quite a fine 
Swiss Alpine evening, and the sea roaring in the distance. 

Visited conversazione. All the women frightened 
by the squall : they won't go to the masquerade because 
it lightens the pious reason ! 

Still blowing away. A. has sent me some news to- 
day. The war approaches nearer and nearer. Oh those 
scoundrel sovereigns ! Let us but see them beaten let 
the Neapolitans but have the pluck of the Dutch of old, 
or the Spaniards of now, or of the German Protestants, 
the Scotch Presbyterians, the Swiss under Tell, or the 
Greeks under Themistocles all small and solitary nations 
(except the Spaniards and German Lutherans), and there 
is yet a resurrection for Italy, and a hope for the world. 

February 20, 1821. 

The news of the day are, that the Neapolitans are 
full of energy. The public spirit here is certainly well 
kept up. The Americani (a patriotic society here, an 
under branch of the Carbonari) give a dinner in the Forest 
in a few days, and have invited me, as one of the C'. It 
is to be in the Forest of Boccacio's and Dryden's " Hunts- 
" man's Ghost ; " and, even if I had not the same political 
feelings, (to say nothing of my old convivial turn, which 
every now and then revives,) I would go as a poet, or, at 
least, as a lover of poetry. I shall expect to see the 
spectre of " Ostasio degli Onesti " * (Dryden has turned 
i. The story of Nastagio degli Onesti, and his love for the 


him into Guido Cavalcanti an essentially different person, 
as may be found in Dante) come " thundering for his 
" prey in the midst of the festival." At any rate, whether 
he does or no, I will get as tipsy and patriotic as possible. 
Within these few days I have read, but not written. 

February 21, 1821. 

As usual, rode visited, etc. Business begins to 
thicken. The Pope has printed a declaration against the 
patriots, who, he says, meditate a rising. The consequence 
of all this will be, that, in a fortnight, the whole country 
will be up. The proclamation is not yet published, but 
printed, ready for distribution. * * sent me a copy 
privately a sign that he does not know what to think. 
When he wants to be well with the patriots, he sends to 
me some civil message or other. 

For my own part, it seems to me, that nothing but 
the most decided success of the Barbarians can prevent a 
general and immediate rise of the whole nation. 

February 23, 1821. 

Almost ditto with yesterday rode, etc. visited 
wrote nothing read Roman History. 

Had a curious letter from a fellow, who informs me 
that the Barbarians are ill-disposed towards me. He is 

daughter of Messer Paolo Traversari, is the eighth story of the fifth 
day in Boccaccio. But the spectral horseman in the story is Guido 
degli Anastagi. 

" The knight came thundering on, but, from afar, 
Thus in imperious tone forebade the war ; 
' Cease, Theodore, to proffer vain relief, 
Nor stop the vengeance of so just a grief ; 
But give me leave to seize my destin'd prey, 
And let eternal justice take the way : 
I but revenge my fate, disdain'd, betray'd, 
And suffering death for this ungrateful maid.' " 

Dryden ("Theodore and Honoria"). 


probably a spy, or an impostor. But be it so, even as he 
says. They cannot bestow their hostility on one who 
loathes and execrates them more than I do, or who will 
oppose their views with more zeal, when the opportunity 

February 24, 1821. 

Rode, etc., as usual. The secret intelligence arrived 
this morning from the frontier to the C'. is as bad as 
possible. The plan has missed the Chiefs are betrayed, 
military, as well as civil and the Neapolitans not only 
have not moved, but have declared to the P. government, 
and to the Barbarians, that they know nothing of the 
matter ! ! ! 

Thus the world goes ; and thus the Italians are always 
lost for lack of union among themselves. What is to be 
done here, between the two fires, and cut off from the 
N n . frontier, is not decided. My opinion was, better 
to rise than be taken in detail ; but how it will be settled 
now, I cannot tell. Messengers are despatched to the 
delegates of the other cities to learn their resolutions. 

I always had an idea that it would be bungled; but 
was willing to hope, and am so still. Whatever I can do 
by money, means, or person, I will venture freely for 
their freedom ; and have so repeated to them (some of 
the Chiefs here) half an hour ago. I have two thousand 
five hundred scudi, better than five hundred pounds, in 
the house, which I offered to begin with. 

February 25, 1821. 

Came home my head aches plenty of news, but 
too tiresome to set down. I have neither read nor 
written, nor thought, but led a purely animal life all day. 
I mean to try to write a page or two before I go to bed. 


But, as Squire Sullen says, " My head aches consumedly : 
" Scrub, bring me a dram ! " * Drank some Imola wine, 
and some punch ! 

Log-book contimied? 

February 27, 1821. 

I have been a day without continuing the log, because 
I could not find a blank book. At length I recollected 

Rode, etc. wrote down an additional stanza for the 
5th canto of D\on\ J\itari\ which I had composed in bed 
this morning. 3 Visited F Arnica. We are invited, on the 
night of the Veglione (next Dominica) with the Marchesa 
Clelia Cavalli and the Countess Spinelli Rasponi. I 
promised to go. Last night there was a row at the ball, 
of which I am a socio. The Vice-legate had the impru- 
dent insolence to introduce three of his servants in masque 
without tickets^ too ! and in spite of remonstrances. 
The consequence was, that the young men of the ball 
took it up, and were near throwing the Vice-legate out of 
the window. His servants, seeing the scene, withdrew, 
and he after them. His reverence Monsignore ought to 
know, that these are not times for the predominance of 
priests over decorum. Two minutes more, two steps 
further, and the whole city would have been in arms, and 
the government driven out of it. 

1. In Farquhar's Beatix 1 Stratagem, act v. sc. 4, Sullen says, 
' How, my writings ! My head aches consumedly Well, gentle- 
' men, you shall have her Fortune, but I can't talk. If you have a 
' mind, Sir Charles, to be merry, and celebrate my sister's wedding, 
' and my Divorce, you may command my house but my head 
' aches consumedly Scrub, bring me a dram." 

2. " In another paper-book" (Moore). 

3. Stanza clviii. 

" Thus in the East they are extremely strict, 
And wedlock and a padlock mean the same," etc. 

VOL. V. P 


Such is the spirit of the day, and these fellows appear 
not to perceive it. As far as the simple fact went, the 
young men were right, servants being prohibited always 
at these festivals. 

Yesterday wrote two notes on the " Bowles and Pope " 
controversy, and sent them off to Murray by the post. 
The old woman whom I relieved in the forest (she is 
ninety-four years of age) brought me two bunches of 
violets. Nam vita gaudet mortua floribus} I was much 
pleased with the present. An English woman would 
have presented a pair of worsted stockings, at least, in 
the month of February. Both excellent things ; but the 
former are more elegant. The present, at this season, 
reminds one of Gray's stanza, omitted from his elegy : 

" Here scatter'd oft, the earliest of the year, 

By hands unseen, are showers of violets found ; 
The red-breast loves to build and warble here, 
And little footsteps lightly print the ground." 

As fine a stanza as any in his elegy. I wonder that he 
could have the heart to omit it. 2 

Last night I suffered horribly from an indigestion, I 
believe. I never sup that is, never at home. But, last 

1. Byron quotes from Abraham Cowley's Epitaphium vivi 
Auctoris ; the last stanza runs as follows : 

" Hie sparge flores, sparge breves rosas, 
Nam vita gaudet mortua floribus, 
Herbisque odoratis corona 
Vatis adhuc cinerem calentem." 

2. The stanza originally preceded the " Epitaph," and followed 
the lines 

" Approach and read (for thou canst read) the lay 
Graved on the stone beneath yon aged thorn." 

This stanza " was printed in some of the first editions, but after- 
" wards omitted, because he [Gray] thought (and in my own opinion 
" very justly) that it was too long a parenthesis in this place. The 
"lines, however, are in themselves exquisitely fine, and demand 
"preservation" (The Works of Thomas Gray, 1814, ed. Mason and 
Mathias, vol. 5. p. 127). 

1 82 1.] THE SOUL AND BODY. 211 

night, I was prevailed upon by the Countess Gamba's 
persuasion, and the strenuous example of her brother, to 
swallow, at supper, a quantity of boiled cockles, and to 
dilute them, not reluctantly, with some Imola wine. 
When I came home, apprehensive of the consequences, I 
swallowed three or four glasses of spirits, which men (the 
venders) call brandy, rum, or hollands, but which gods 
would entitle spirits of wine, coloured or sugared. All 
was pretty well till I got to bed, when I became some- 
what swollen, and considerably vertiginous. I got out, 
and mixing some soda-powders, drank them off. This 
brought on temporary relief. I returned to bed; but 
grew sick and sorry once and again. Took more soda- 
water. At last I fell into a dreary sleep. Woke, and 
was ill all day, till I had galloped a few miles. Query 
was it the cockles, or what I took to correct them, that 
caused the commotion ? I think both. I remarked in 
my illness the complete inertion, inaction, and destruction 
of my chief mental faculties. I tried to rouse them, and 
yet could not and this is the Soul I ! ! I should believe 
that it was married to the body, if they did not sympa- 
thise so much with each other. If the one rose, when 
the other fell, it would be a sign that they longed for 
the natural state of divorce. But as it is, they seem to 
draw together like post-horses. 

Let us hope the best it is the grand possession. 



OCTOBER, 1821. 


858. To Thomas Moore.. 

Ravenna, January 2, 1821. 

YOUR entering into my project for the Memoir, is 
pleasant to me. But I doubt (contrary to me my dear 
Mad e Mac F * V whom I always loved, and always 
shall not only because I really did feel attached to her 
personally, but because she and about a dozen others of 
that sex were all who stuck by me in the grand conflict 
of 1815) but I doubt, I say, whether the Memoir could 
appear in my lifetime ; and, indeed, I had rather it did 
not; for a man always looks dead after his Life has 
appeared, and I should certes not survive the appearance 
of mine. The first part I cannot consent to alter, even 

I. Probably Madame de Flahault, nee Mercer (see Letters, vol. 
iii. p. 253, note i). 

1 82 I.] MADAME DE STAEL. 213 

although Madame de S[tael]'s opinion of B. C. and my 
remarks upon Lady C.'s beauty (which is surely great, 
and I suppose that I have said so at least, I ought) 
should go down to our grandchildren in unsophisticated 

As to Madame de S[tael], I am by no means bound to 
be her beadsman she was always more civil to me in 
person than during my absence. Our dear defunct friend, 
Monk Lewis, who was too great a bore ever to lie, 
assured me upon his tiresome word of honour, that at 
Florence, the said Madame de S[tael] was open-moutfod 
against me; and when asked, in Switzerland^ why she 
had changed her opinion, replied, with laudable sincerity, 
that I had named her in a sonnet with Voltaire, Rous- 
seau, etc. * and that she could not help it through decency. 
Now, I have not forgotten this, but I have been generous, 
as mine acquaintance, the late Captain Whitby, of the 
navy, used to say to his seamen (when " married to the 
" gunner's daughter ") " two dozen and let you off easy." 
The "two dozen" were with the cat-o'-nine tails; the 
" let you off easy " was rather his own opinion than that 
of the patient. 

My acquaintance with these terms and practices arises 
from my having been much conversant with ships of war 
and naval heroes in the year of my voyages in the 
Mediterranean. Whitby was in the gallant action off 
Lissa 2 in 1811. He was brave, but a disciplinarian. 

1. " Rousseau Voltaire our Gibbon and De Stael, 

Leman ! these names are worthy of thy shore," etc. 
Sonnet to Lake Leman, written at Diodati, July, 1816. 

2. The combined French and Italian squadron, under Dubourdieu, 
consisting of six frigates and five smaller armed vessels, sailed from 
Ancona, with 500 troops on board, to fortify and garrison the island 
of Lissa on the Dalmatian Coast. On March 13, 1811, they were 
defeated off Lissa by an English squadron of three frigates and one 


When he left his frigate, he left a parrot, which was 
taught by the crew the following sounds (it must be 
remarked that Captain Whitby was the image of Fawcett l 
the actor, in voice, face, and figure, and that he squinted). 

The Parrot loquitur. 

" Whitby ! Whitby ! funny eye ! funny eye ! two 
" dozen, and let you off easy. Oh you ! " 

Now, if Madame de B. has a parrot, it had better be 
taught a French parody of the same sounds. 

With regard to our purposed Journal, I will call it 
what you please, but it should be a newspaper, to make 
it pay. We can call it " The Harp," if you like or any 

I feel exactly as you do about our " art," * but it 

corvette, under Commodore Hoste (Yonge's History of the British 
Navy, vol. ii. p. 476). 

Byron alludes to the battle in Marino Faliero, ftote 5. Enumerat- 
ing the exceptions to the degeneracy of Venice, he says: "There 
' is Pasqualigo, the last, and alas ! posthumous son of the marriage 
' of the Doges with the Adriatic, who fought his frigate with far 
1 greater gallantry than any of his French coadjutors in the memor- 
' able action off Lissa. I came home in the squadron with the 
'prizes in i8ir, and recollect to have heard Sir William Hoste, 
1 and the other officers engaged in that glorious conflict, speak in 
' the highest terms of Pasqualigo's behaviour." 

1. John Fawcett (1768-1837), after acting at York in Tate Wil- 
kinson's company, made his first appearance in London at Covent 
Garden, as "Caleb" in He would be a Soldier, September 21, 1791. 
In low comedy he was excellent. Leigh Hunt, in his " Synopses " 
(Dramatic Essays, edited by William Archer and Robert W. Lowe, 
pp. xliv.-v.), speaks of him as one of the " actors whom modern 
" writers have spoiled." The meaning of the remark probably is 
that Colman wrote pieces specially designed to suit his peculiarities. 
Fawcett made his last appearance on the stage May 30, 1830, as 
" Captain Copp " in Howard Payne's Charles the Second. A list of 
his principal characters is given in Genest's English Stage, vol. ix. 
pp. 521-525. 

2. The following passage from Moore's letter, to which the above 
was an answer, will best explain what follows : " With respect to 
" the newspaper, it is odd enough that Lord [John Russell ?] and 
" myself had been (about a week or two before I received your letter) 


comes over me in a kind of rage every now and then, 
like * * * *, and then, if I don't write to empty my 
mind, I go mad. As to that regular, uninterrupted love 
of writing, which you describe in your friend, I do not 
understand it. I feel it as a torture, which I must get 
rid of, but never as a pleasure. On the contrary, I think 
composition a great pain. 

I wish you to think seriously of the Journal scheme 
for I am as serious as one can be, in this world, about 
any thing. As to matters here, they are high and mighty 
but not for paper. It is much about the state of things 
betwixt Cain and Abel. There is, in fact, no law or 
government at all ; and it is wonderful how well things 
go on without them. Excepting a few occasional murders, 
(every body killing whomsoever he pleases, and being 
killed, in turn, by a friend, or relative, of the defunct,) 
there is as quiet a society and as merry a Carnival as can 
be met with in a tour through Europe. There is nothing 
like habit in these things. 

I shall remain here till May or June, and, unless 
" honour comes unlocked for," l we may perhaps meet, in 
France or England, within the year. 

Yours, etc. 

Of course, I cannot explain to you existing circum- 
stances, as they open all letters. 

' speculating upon your assistance in a plan somewhat similar, but 
' more literary and less regularly periodical in its appearance. Lord 
' [John], as you will see by his volume of Essays, if it reaches you, has 
' a very sly, dry, and pithy way of putting sound truths upon politics 
' and manners ; and whatever scheme we adopt, he will be a very 
' useful and active ally in it, as he has a pleasure in writing quite 
' inconceivable to a poor hack scribe like me, who always feel, about 
' my art, as the French husband did when he found a man making 
' love to his (the Frenchman's) wife : ' Comment, Monsieur, sans 
' y etre oblige! ' When I say this, however, I mean it only of the 
' executive part of writing ; for the imagining, the shadowing out 
'of the future work, is, I own, a delicious fool's paradise." 
I. ffenry /P., Part I. act v. sc. 3. 


Will you set me right about your curst Champs 
Elysees? are they "es" or "ees" for the adjective? 
I know nothing of French, being all Italian. Though 
I can read and understand French, I never attempt to 
speak it; for I hate it. From the second part of the 
Memoirs cut what you please. 

859. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, JY 4< h , 1821. 

D? M?, I write to you in considerable surprise, that, 
since the first days of November, I have never had a line 
from you. It is so incomprehensible, that I can only 
account for it by supposing some accident. I have 
written to you at least ten letters, to none of which I 
have had a word of answer : one of them was on your 
own affairs a proposal of Galignani, relative to your 
publications, which I referred to you (as was proper), for 
your own decision. 

Last week I sent (addressed to Mr. D. Kinnaird) two 
packets containing the 5 th Canto of D.J? I wish to 
know what you mean to do ? anything or nothing. 

Of the State of this country I can only say, that, 
besides the assassination of the Commandant of the 7 1 ! 1 
(of which I gave you an account, as I took him 
up, and he died in my house) that there have been 

I . Murray hesitated whether or not he should continue the publi- 
cation as an anonymous work, and without his own name as publisher. 
Croker (Murray Memoirs, vol. i. pp. 413-416) had written to him, 
March 26, 1820, saying that Murray had done the poem "great 
'injustice." "If you print and sell Tom Jones and Peregrine 
' Pickle, why did you start at Don Juan ? Why smuggle it into the 
' world, and, as it were, pronounce it illegitimate in its birth, and 
' induce so many of the learned rabble, when they could find so 
' little specific offence in it, to refer to its supposed original state as 
' one of original sin." 

1821.] BARRY CORNWALL. 217 

six murders committed within twenty miles three last 

Yours very truly, 


P.S. Have you gotten the Hints, that I may alter 
parts and portions ? 

I just see, by the papers of Galignani, that there is 
a new tragedy of great expectation, by Barry Cornwall : l 
of what I have read of his works I liked the Dramatic 
Sketclies, but thought his Sicilian Story and Mardan 
Colonna, in rhyme, quite spoilt by I know not what 
affectation of Wordsworth, and Hunt, and Moore, and 
Myself, all mixed up into a kind of Chaos. I think him 
very likely to produce a good tragedy, if he keep to a 
natural style, and not play tricks to form Harlequinades 
for an audience. As he (B. C. is not his true name) was 
a school-fellow of mine, I take more than common 
interest in his success, and shall be glad to hear of it 
speedily. If I had been aware that he was in that line, 
I should have spoken of him in the preface to M\arino\ 
F\aliero\ : he will do a World's wonder if he produce a 
great tragedy. I am, however, persuaded, that this is not 
to be done by following the old dramatists, who are full 
of gross faults, pardoned only for the beauty of their 
language; but by writing naturally and regularly, and 
producing regular tragedies, like the Greeks ; but not in 
imitation, merely the outline of their conduct, adapted 

I. " I told Lord Byron," says Medwin (Convei-sations, ed. 1825, 
vol. i. p. 174), " that I had had a letter from Procter, and that he 
' had been jeered on the Duke of Mirandola not having been in- 
' eluded in his (Lord B.'s) enumeration of the dramatic pieces of the 
' day, and that he had added, he had been at Harrow with him. 
' ' Ay,' said Lord Byron, ' I remember the name : he was in the 
' lower school, in such a class. They stood Farrer, Procter, 
' Jocelyn ! ' " (see p. 37, note 2). 


to our own times and circumstances, and of course no 

You will laugh, and say, " why don't you do so ? " I 
have, you see, tried a Sketch in Marino Faliero ; but 
many people think my talent "essentially undramatic" 
and I am not at all clear that they are not right. If 
Marino Faliero don't fall, in the perusal, I shall, perhaps, 
try again (but not for the Stage) ; and, as I think that 
love is not the principal passion for tragedy (and yet 
most of ours turn upon it), you will not find me a 
popular writer. Unless it is Love, furious, criminal, 
and hapless, it ought not to make a tragic subject : 
when it is melting and maudlin, it does, but it ought 
not to do ; it is then for the Gallery and second price 

If you want to have a notion of what I am trying, 
take up a translation of any of the Greek tragedians. If 
I said the original, it would be an impudent presumption 
of mine ; but the translations are so inferior to the 
originals, that I think I may risk it. Then judge of the 
" simplicity of plot, etc.," and do not judge me by your 
mad old dramatists, which is like drinking Usquebaugh 
and then proving a fountain : yet after all, I suppose that 
you do not mean that spirits is a nobler element than a 
clear spring bubbling in the sun; and this I take to 
be the difference between the Greeks and those turbid 
mountebanks always excepting B. Jonson, who was a 
Scholar and a Classic. Or, take up a translation of 
Alfieri, and try the interest, etc., of these my new attempts 
in the old line, by him in English. And then tell me 
fairly your opinion. But don't measure me by YOUR 
OWN old or new tailor's yards. Nothing so easy as 
intricate confusion of plot, and rant. Mrs. Centlivre, in 
comedy, has ten times tJie bustle of Congreve ; but are they 

1 82 1.] THE BRAZIERS' ADDRESS. 219 

to be compared ? and yet she drove Congreve from the 
theatre. 1 

860. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, January 6'. h 1821. 

On the "Braziers' Address to be presented in 
" Armour by the Company, 2 etc., etc.," as stated in the 
Newspapers : 

1 . See Letters, vol. iv. p. 426, note 2. 

2. The allusion is explained in Rivington's Annual Register, 
under the date October 30, 1820 (vol. Ixii. pp. 114*, 115*). 

"ADDRESSES TO THE QUEEN. The Queen's Chamberlain, Sir 
' William Cell, and the Hon. Keppel Craven, having notified to 
' the public that her Majesty had resolved . . . not to receive any 
' addresses by deputation after Monday, several of the most nume- 
' rous and respectable trades of the metropolis and its vicinity . . . 
' determined to take advantage of the implied permission, and to 
' convey to her Majesty, on Monday, the assurance of their loyalty 
' and esteem. The first procession that passed along the Strand 
' was that of the Youths of the Metropolis ... the next . . . was 
' the Coopers ... the third ... the Spanish Leather-dressers . . . 
'the fourth . . . the Fellmongers . . . Then came the Sealskin 
' Curriers. But the most splendid exhibition of the day was that of 
' the brass-founders and braziers. The procession was headed by a 
' man dressed in a suit of burnished plate armour of brass, and 
' mounted on a handsome black horse, the reins being held by 
' persons acting as pages, but wearing brass helmets. This figure 
' was followed immediately by a large party, bearing beautiful 
' pieces of fancy work in brass and copper, supported on brass 
' wands. The brilliancy, number, and variety of these works 
' excited much admiration. At regular intervals flags were borne, 
' with various devices and mottoes, ' The Queen and her Rights, ' 
' ' Caroline, God and my Right,' ' Wood and Independence,' 
' ' Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour,' ' Lying 
' lips are an abomination to the Lord,' ' As a roaring lion and a 
'raging bear; so is a wicked ruler over a poor people.' Then 
' came a man clothed in complete steel armour, followed by various 
' flags, on one of which were the crowns of the King and Queen, 
' with this motto, ' As it should be,' ' The Queen's Guard are men 
'of metal.' A man in a complete suite of brass armour, mounted 
' and attended as the former, appeared, and was followed by two 
' persons, bearing on a cushion a most magnificent imitation of the 
' imperial Crown of England. A small number of the deputation 
' of brass-founders were admitted to the presence of her Majesty, 


It seems that the Braziers propose soon to pass 
An Address and to bear it themselves all in brass ; 
A Superfluous Pageant, for by the Lord Harry ! 
They'll find, where they're going, much more than they 


The Braziers it seems are determined to pass 

An Address and present it themselves All in brass, 

A superfluous {j^^H for by the Lord Harry ! 

They'll find, where they're going, much more than they 

R? Jy 8'. h 1821. 

ILLUSTRIOUS SIR, I enclose you a long note x for the 
5'- h Canto of Don Juan ; you will find where it should 
be placed on referring to the MS., which I sent to Mr. 
Kinnaird. I had subscribed the authorities Arrian, 
Plutarch, Hume, etc. for the corrections of Bacon, but, 
thinking it pedantic to do so, have since erased them. 

I have had no letter from you since one dated the 
3 r . d of Novf You are a pretty fellow, but I will be even 
with you some day. 

Yours, etc., etc., 


P.S. The enclosed epigram is not for publication, 

" and one of the persons in armour advanced to the throne, and 
" bending on one knee, presented the address, which was enclosed 
"in a brass case of excellent workmanship. A youth in the pro- 
" cession afterwards presented to her Majesty an elegant gilt vase, 
" which she seemed much to admire. Other deputations followed." 
I. See Appendix VI. The note was intended for stanza cxlvii., 
to illustrate Byron's existing note on Bacon's inaccuracy. 


86 1. To John Murray. 

R? ]y iiV 1821. 

D* M\, Put this : " I am obliged for this excellent 
" translation of the old Chronicle to Mr. Cohen, to whom 
" the reader will find himself indebted for a version 
" which I could not myself (though after so many years 
" intercourse with Italians) have given by any means so 
" purely and so faithfully." 1 

I have looked over The Hints (of which, by the 
way, you have not sent the whole), and see little to alter ; 
I do not see yet any name which would be offended, at 
least of my friends. As an advertisement, a short preface, 
say, as follows : (Let me have the rest though first.) 

" However little this poem may resemble the annexed 
" Latin, it has been submitted to one of the great rules 
" of Horace, having been kept in the desk for more than 
" nine years. It was composed at Athens in the Spring 
"of 1811, and received some additions after the author's 
" return to England in the same year." 

I protest, and desire you to protest stoutly and publicly 
(if it be necessary), against any attempt to bring the 
tragedy on any stage. It was written solely for the 
reader. It is too regular, and too simple, and of too 
remote an interest, for the Stage. I will not be exposed 
to the insolences of an audience, without a remonstrance. 
As thus, 

" The Author, having heard that, notwithstanding his 
" request and remonstrance, it is the intention of one of 
" the London Managers to attempt the introduction of 
" the tragedy of M.F. upon the Stage, does hereby protest 

I . This note, with three trifling alterations, is added to Appendix 
II. to Marino Faliei'o, after Cohen's translation of the Cronica di 


" publicly that such a proceeding is as totally against his 
"wishes, as it will prove against the interests of the 
" theatre. That Composition was intended for the Closet 
" only, as the reader will readily perceive. By no kind 
" of adaptation can it be made fit for the present English 
" Stage. If the Courtesy of the Manager is not sufficient 
"to withhold him from exercising his power over a 
" published drama, which the Law has not sufficiently 
" protected from such usurpation " 1 

862. To John Murray. 

R? Jx n'. h 1821. 

DEAR MURRAY, I have read with attention the 
enclosed, of which you have not sent me, however, the 
whole (which pray send), and have made the few correc- 
tions I shall make in what I have seen at least. I will 
omit nothing and alter little : the fact is (as I perceive), 
that I wrote a great deal better in 1811, than I have ever 
done since. I care not a sixpence whether the work is 
popular or not that is your concern ; and, as I neither 
name price, nor care about terms, it can concern you 
little either, so that it pays its expence of printing. I 
leave all those matters to your magnanimity (which is some- 
thing like Lady Byron's), which will decide for itself. 
You have about I know not what quantity of my stuff 
on hand just now (a 5 th Canto of Don Juan also by this 
time), and must cut according to your cloth. 

Is not one of the Seals meant for my Cranium ? and 
the other who or what is he ? 

Yours ever truly, 


I. The rest of the letter is missing. 

1 82 1.] NOT AN ACTING PLAY. 223 

P.S. What have you decided about Galignani ? I 
think you might at least have acknowledged my letter, 
which would have been civil ; also a letter on the late 
murders here : also, pray do not omit to protest and 
impede (as far as possible) any Stage-playing with the 
tragedy. I hope that the Histrions will see their own 
interest too well to attempt it See my other letter. 

P.S. You say, speaking of acting, " let me know 
" your pleasure in this." I reply that there is no pleasure 
in it ; the play is not for acting: Kemble or Kean x could 
read it, but where are they ? Do not let me be sacrificed 
in such a manner : depend upon it, it is some party-work 
to run down you and your favourite horse. I know some- 
thing of Harris and Elliston personally ; and, if they are 
not Critics enough to see that it would not do, I think 
them Gentlemen enough to desist at my request. Why 
don't they bring out some of the thousands of meritorious 
and neglected men, who cumber their shelves, instead of 
dragging me out of the library ? 

Will you excuse the severe postage, with which my 
late letters will have taxed you ? 

" I had taken such strong resolutions against anything 
" of that kind, from seeing how much every body that 
" did write for the Stage, was obliged to subject them- 
" selves to the players and the town." Spence's 
Anecdotes , page 22. 

I. "Lord Byron," writes Mrs. Piozzi to Dr. Gray, September I, 
1820 {Autobiography, etc., vol. ii. p. 275), "is said to be bringing 
"out a tragedy; unlucky, if Mr. Kean is leaving England for 
"America. They seem to be kindred souls, delighting in distortion, 
"and mistaking it for pathos." 


863. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, January 19, 1821. 

DEAR MORAY, Yours of y? 2gth UltT hath arrived. 
I must really and seriously request that you will beg of 
Messrs. Harris or Elliston to let the Doge alone : it is 
not an acting play ; it will not serve their purpose ; it will 
destroy yours (the Sale) ; and it will distress me. It 
is not courteous, it is hardly even gentlemanly, to persist 
in this appropriation of a man's writings to their 

I have already sent you by last post a short protest 
to the Public (against this proceeding) ; in case that they 
persist, which I trust that they will not, you must then 
publish it in the Newspapers. I shall not let them off 
with that only, if they go on ; but make a longer appeal 
on that subject, and state what I think the injustice of 
their mode of behaviour. It is hard that I should have 
all the buffoons in Britain to deal with -pirates who will 
publish, and players who will act when there are thou- 
sands of worthy and able men who can get neither 
bookseller nor manager for love nor money. 

You never answered me a word about Galignani : if 
you mean to use the two documents, do ; if not, burn them. 
I do not choose to leave them in any one's possession : 
suppose some one found them without the letters, what 
would they think ? why, that /had been doing the opposite 
of what I have done, to wit, referred the whole thing to 
you an act of civility at least, which required saying, 
" I have received your letter." I thought that you might 
have some hold upon those publications by this means : 
to me it can be no interest one way or the other. 

The third canto of Don Juan is diill, but you must 
really put up with it : if the two first and the two following 

1 82 1.] A CONFLICT OF CRITICS. 225 

are tolerable, what do you expect ? particularly as I 
neither dispute with you on it as a matter of criticism, 
or a matter of business. 

Besides, what am I to understand ? you and D? Kin- 
naird, and others, write to me, that the two first published 
Cantos are among the best that I ever wrote, and are 
reckoned so : Mrs. Leigh writes that they are thought 
" execrable" (bitter word that for an author Eh, Murray !) 
as a composition even, and that she had heard so much 
against them that she would never read them, and never 
has. Be that as it may, I can't alter. That is not my 
forte. If you publish the three new ones without osten- 
tation, they may perhaps succeed. 

Pray publish the Dante and the Pulci (the Prophecy 
of Dante , I mean) : I look upon the Pulci as my grand 
performance. The remainder of The Hints, where be 
they? Now bring them all out about the same time, 
otherwise " the variety " you wot of will be less obvious. 

I am in bad humour : some obstructions in business 
with the damned trustees, who object to an advantageous 
loan which I was to furnish to a Nobleman on Mortgage, 
because his property is in Ireland, have shown me how 
a man is treated in his absence. Oh, if I do come back, 
I will make some of those, who little dream of it, spin 
or they or I shall go down. 

The news here is, that Col. Brown 1 (the Witness- 
buyer) has been stabbed at Milan, but not mortally. I 
wonder that anybody should dirty' their daggers in him. 
They should have beaten him with Sandbags an old 
Spanish fashion. 

I. Colonel Brown was employed to prepare the case against 
Queen Caroline in Italy. He was attacked at Milan, December 9, 
1820, by two persons as he was returning alone from the Opera. 
He received four wounds in the head and one in the chest, but 

VOL. V. Q 


I sent you a line or two on the Braziers' Company 
last week, not for publication. 

Yours ever, 

The lines were even worthy 

Of dsworth, the great Metaquizzical poet, 

A man of great merit amongst those who know it, 

Of whose works, as I told Moore last autumn at *Mestri 

I owe all I know to my passion for Pastry. 

* Mestri and Fusina are the ferry trajects to Venice : 
I believe, however, that it was at Fusina that Moore and 
I embarked in 1819, when Thomas came to Venice, like 
Coleridge's Spring " slowly up this way." l 

Omit the dedication to Goethe. 

864. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, January 20, 1821. 

DEAR MURRAY, If Harris or Elliston persist, 2 after 
the remonstrance which I requested you and Mr. 

1. Christabel, Part I. lines 20-22 

"The night is chill, the cloud is gray : 
'Tis a month before the month of May, 
And the Spring comes slowly up this way." 

2. On Saturday, April 21, 1821, Murray published Marino Faliero. 
On Wednesday, April 25, the play was represented by Elliston, 
at Drury Lane. The drama, sheet by sheet from the compositors' 
hands, was taken from the printing-office to the theatre, and the 
whole play, in fact, studied before publication. 

On Wednesday, April 25, Elliston received the formal licence 
from the Lord Chamberlain. Half an hour later he was served with a 
notice from Murray's solicitor, announcing that the Lord Chancellor 
had granted an injunction against the acting of Marino Faliero, and 
that the play must be immediately withdrawn. 

" Elliston was now in his element namely, a perplexity ; and, 
"with his wonted activity in such cases, he sprang into a hackney- 
" coach, with the view of driving to Hamilton Place, that he might 


Kinnaird to make on my behalf, and which I hope will 
be sufficient but if, I say, they do persist, then I pray you 
to present in person the enclosed letter to the Lord 
Chamberlain : I have said in person ; otherwise I shall 
have neither answer nor knowledge that it has reached 
its address, owing to " the insolence of office." 

I wish you would speak to Lord Holland, and to all 
my friends and yours, to interest themselves in prevent- 
ing this cursed attempt at representation. 

God help me ! at this distance, I am treated like a 

"see Lord Eldon himself on the subject. He arrived in very time 
" to catch his lordship by the skirts of his clothing as he was mount- 
' ' ing the steps of his own door. Here the defendant at once entered 
"on the merits of his case, and his lordship declared the court 
" sitting Lord Eldon on the upper step, and Elliston on the pave- 
" ment the one all patience, the other all animation. The chan- 
" cellor hesitated as to his previous order Lord Eldon doubted 
" and Elliston redoubled the force of his argument. At length he 
" so far succeeded, that the judge suspended the injunction granted 
" against the acting of the play for that night ; but, ' mind,' observed 
"he, 'you appear before me in the morning of to-morrow.' The 
"manager hereupon took his respectful leave, quitting the chan- 
" cellor, after an interview more extraordinary than any, perhaps, 
"recorded in Mr. Twiss's admirable Life of his lordship" (Memoirs 
of Robert W. Elliston (1845), pp. 268, 269). 

Elliston's success with Lord Eldon was met by the following hand- 
bill issued by Murray : 

" The Public are respectfully informed that the representation of 
' Lord Byron's tragedy, The Doge of Venice (Marino Faliero), this 
'evening, takes place in defiance of an injunction of the Lord 
' Chancellor, which was not applied for until the remonstrance of 
' the publisher, at the earnest desire of the noble author, had failed 
' in protecting this drama from its intrusion on the stage, for which 
" it was never intended" (ibid., p. 270). 

The play was acted on April 25, but it excited no enthusiasm, 
and the receipts amounted to only ,147. 

Subsequently several hearings took place before the Chancellor, 
"and it was settled that the case should be sent to the Court of 
"King's Bench, to see whether an action could be maintained. 
' The argument was to come on in the November following, when, 
'no counsel appearing on the part of the plaintiff, the case was 
' struck out. Marino Faliero was acted a second time on the 3Oth 
' of April, under the authority of the lord chancellor, to which all 
' parties had assented. The play was represented, on the whole, 
'seven times, the greatest receipt being ^"160 " (ibid., pp. 270, 271). 


corpse or a fool by the few people whom I thought that 
I could rely upon ; and I was a fool to think any better 
of them than of the rest of mankind. 
Pray write. 

Yours ever, 


P.S. I have nothing more at heart (that is, in 
literature) than to prevent this drama from going upon 
the Stage : in short, rather than permit it, it must be 
suppressed altoget/ier, and only forty copies struck off 
privately for presents to my friends. What damned fools 
those speculating buffoons must be not to see that it is 
unfit for their Fair, or their booth ! 

865. To John Murray. 

January 20, 1821. 

D* M Y , I did not think to have troubled you with 
the plague and postage of a double letter this time, but I 
have just read in an Italian paper, " That I/! B. has a 
" tragedy coming out," etc., etc., etc. ; and that the Courier 
and Morning Chronicle, etc., etc., are pulling one another 
to pieces about it and him, etc. 

Now I do reiterate and desire, that every thing may 
be done to prevent it from coming out on any theatre, 
for which it never was designed, and on which (in the 
present state of the stage of London) it could never 
succeed. I have sent you my appeal by last post, which 
you must publish in case of need ; and I require you even 
in your own name (if my honour is dear to you) to 
declare that such representation would be contrary to my 
wish and my judgement. If you do not wish to drive me 


mad altogether, you will hit upon some way to prevent 


P.S. I cannot conceive how Harris or Elliston 
should be so insane as to think of acting Marino Faliero ; 
they might as well act the Prometheus of yEschylus. I 
speak of course humbly, and with the greatest sense of 
the distance of time and merit between the two per- 
formances ; but merely to show the absurdity of the 

The Italian paper speaks of a " party against it ; " to 
be sure there would be a party : can you imagine, that 
after having never flattered man, nor beast, nor opinion, 
nor politics, there would not be a party against a man, 
who is also a popular writer at least a successful ? why, 
all parties would be a party against. 

866. To Thomas Moore. 

Ravenna, January 22, 1821. 

Pray get well. I do not like your complaint. So, 
let me have a line to say you are up and doing again. 
To-day I am thirty-three years of age. 

Through life's road, so dim and dirty, 
I have dragged to three-and-thirty. 
What have these years left to me ? 
Nothing except thirty-three. 

Have you heard that the " Braziers' Company " have, 
or mean to present an address at Brandenburgh House, 1 

I. Brandenburgh House, Fulham, formerly called Crabtree Hall, 
was built by Captain Crispe, slave-trader and merchant-adventurer 
in the reign of Charles I. It passed through various hands Prince 


" in armour," and with all possible variety and splendour 
of brazen apparel ? 

The Braziers, it seems, are preparing to pass 
An address, and present it themselves all in brass 
A superfluous pageant for, by the Lord Harry, 
They'll find where they're going much more than they 

There's an Ode for you, is it not ? worthy 

Of Wordsworth, the grand metaquizzical poet, 
A man of vast merit, though few people know it ; 
The perusal of whom (as I told you at Mestri) 
I owe, in great part, to my passion for pastry. 

Mestri and Fusina are the "trajects, or common 
" ferries," to Venice ; but it was from Fusina that you and 
I embayed, though " the wicked necessity of rhyming " 
has made me press Mestri into the voyage. 

So, you have had a book dedicated to you ? I am 
glad of it, and shall be very happy to see the volume. 

I am in a peck of troubles about a tragedy of mine, 
which is fit only for the (****) closet, and which it 
seems that the managers, assuming a right over published 
poetry, are determined to enact, whether I will or no, 
with their own alterations by Mr. Dibdin, 1 I presume. 
I have written to Murray, to the Lord Chamberlain, and 
to others, to interfere and preserve me from such an 
exhibition. I want neither the impertinence of their 

Rupert, Margaret Hughes, and Bubb Doddington, who changed the 
name to La Trappe. From Doddington it eventually passed to 
the Margrave of Brandenburgh. After Queen Caroline's death, the 
house was pulled down, and the site is now occupied by a distillery. 
I. Dibdin (Autobiography, vol. ii. p. 199), in opening the Surrey 
Theatre for Easter, 1821, announced "a new melodrame founded 
" on Lord Byron's recent play of Marifto Faliero, Doge of Venice" 
He did not, however, bring out the piece. 

1 82 1.] THE PROPHECY OF DANTE. 231 

hisses, nor the insolence of their applause. I write only 
for the reader, and care for nothing but the silent appro- 
bation of those who close one's book with good humour 
and quiet contentment. 

Now, if you would also write to our friend Perry, to 
beg of him to mediate with Harris and Elliston to forbear 
this intent, you will greatly oblige me. The play is quite 
unfit for the stage, as a single glance will show them, 
and, I hope, has shown them ; and, if it were ever so fit, 
I will never have any thing to do willingly with the 

Yours ever, in haste, etc. 

867. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, J? 27, 1821. 

DEAR MORAY, I have mentioned Mr. Cohen in a 
letter to you last week, from which the passage should 
be extracted and prefixed to his translation. You will 
also have received two or three letters upon the subject 
of the Managers: in one I enclosed an epistle for the 
Lord Chamberlain (in case of the worst), and I even 
prohibited the publication of the Tragedy, limiting it to 
a few copies for my private friends. But this would be 
useless, after going so far ; so you may publish as we 
intended only, (if the Managers attempt to act), pray 
present my letter to the \2. Chamberlain, and publish my 
appeal in the papers, adding that it has all along been 
against my wishes that it should be represented. 

I differ from you about the Dante? which I think 
should be published with the tragedy. But do as you 
please : you must be the best judge of your own craft. 
I agree with you about the title. The play may be good 

I. The Prophecy of Dante was published with Marino Faliero, 
Doge of Venice^ in April, 1821. 


or bad, but I flatter myself that it is original as a picture 
of that kind of passion, which to my mind is so natural, 
that I am convinced that I should have done precisely 
what the Doge did on those provocations. 

I am glad of Foscolo's approbation. 

I wish you would send me the remainder of The 
Hints you only sent about half of them. As to the 
other volume, you should publish them about the same 
period, or else what becomes of the " -variety " which you 
talk so much of? 

Excuse haste. I believe I mentioned to you that 
I forget what it was ; but no matter. 

Thanks for your compliments of the year : I hope 
that it will be pleasanter than the last. I speak with 
reference to England only, as far as regards myself, 
where I had every kind of disappointment lost an 
important lawsuit and the trustees of that evil Genius of 
a woman, L y . Byron (who was born for my desolation), 
refusing to allow of an advantageous loan to be made 
from my property to Lord Blessington, etc., etc., by way 
of closing the four seasons. These, and a hundred other 
such things, made a year of bitter business for me in 
England : luckily, things were a little pleasanter for me 
Jiere^ else I should have taken the liberty of Hannibal's 
ring. 1 

Pray thank Gifford for all his goodnesses : the winter 
is as cold here as Parry's polarities. 2 I must now take a 
canter in the forest ; my horses are waiting. 

Yours ever and truly, 


1. " Non gladii, non saxa dabunt, nee tela ; sed ille 

Cannarum vindex, ac tanti sanguinis ultor, 

Juvenal, Sat. x. 164. 

2. Captain Parry (1790-1855) published, in 1821, his Journal of a 

1 82 1.] ENGLISH GUNPOWDER. 233 

P.S. It is exceedingly strange that you have never 
acknowledged the receipt of Galiguants letters, which I 
enclosed to you three months ago : what the devil does 
that mean? 

868. To Richard Belgrave Hoppner. 

Ravenna, January 28^ 1821. 

MY DEAR HOPPNER, I have not heard from you for 
a long time, and now I must trouble you as usual. 
Messrs. Siri and Wilhalm have given up business. They 
had three cases of mine. I desired them to consign 
these cases to Missiaglia. There were 4 Telescopes, a 
case of Watches and a tin case of English gunpowder, 
containing about five pounds of the same, which I have 
had for five years. Messrs. Siri and Wilhalm own to all 
three, and the telescopes and watches they have consigned 
to M., of the others (though they mention it in a letter of 
last week) they now say nothing and M. pretends that 
it is not to be found. 

Will you make enquiry ? It is of importance to me, 
because I can find no other such in these countries, and 
can be of none to the Government because it is so small 
a quantity. If it has in fact been seized by these fellows, 
I will present a slight memorial to the Governor of 
Venice ; which (though it may not get me back my three 
or four pounds of powder) will at least tell him some 
truths upon things in general, as I shall use pretty strong 
terms in expressing myself. 

I shall feel very much obliged by your making this 

Voyage for the Discovery of a North- West Passage from the Atlantic 
to the Pacific, performed in tJu Years 1819-20, in H.M. Ships Hecla 
and Griper. 


Of course upon other topics I can say nothing at 
present, except that your Dutch friends will have their 
hands full one of these days probably. 
Pray let me know how you are. 

I am, yours very truly, 


My best respects to Madame Hoppner. Could not 
you and I contrive to meet somewhere this spring ? I 
should be solus. 

P.S. I sent you all the romances and light reading 
which Murray has furnished except the Monastery ', which 
you told me that you had already seen. I wish the 
things which were at Siri and W.'s to remain with 
Missiaglia, and not to be sent here, at least for the 

present. Pray do what you can about the p r ; it is 

hard those rascals should seize the poor little miserable 
canister, after the many I shot in relieving their wretched 
population at Venice. I did not trouble you with the 
things, because I thought that they would bore you. I 
never got the translation of the German translation^ but 
it don't signify as you said it was not worth while. They 
are printing some things of mine in England, and if any 
parcel comes from London addressed to me at Venice, 
pray take any work of mine out you like and keep it, as 
well as any other books you choose. 

They are always addressed to Missiaglia. 

869. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, Febr? 2, 1821. 

D 1 ? MORAY, Your letter of excuses has arrived. I 
receive the letter, but do not admit the excuses, except 


in courtesy ; as when a man treads on your toes and begs 
your pardon, the pardon is granted, but the joint aches, 
especially if there be a corn upon it. However, I shall 
scold you presently. 

In the last speech of The Doge, 1 there occurs (I think, 
from memory) the phrase 

" And Thou who makest and unmakest Suns ; " 
Change this to 
" And Thou who kindlest and who quenchest Suns ; " 

that is to say, if the verse runs equally well, and Mr. 
Gifford thinks the expression improved. Pray have the 
bounty to attend to this. You are grown quite a minister 
of State : mind if some of these days you are not thrown 
out. God will not be always a Tory, though Johnson 
says the first Whig was the Devil. 

You have learnt one secret from Mr. Galignani's 
(somewhat tardily acknowledged) correspondence. This 
is, that an English Author may dispose of his exclusive 
copyright in France a fact of some consequence (in 
time of peace), in the case of a popular writer. Now I 
will tell you what you shall do, and take no advantage of 
you, though you were scurvy enough never to acknow- 
ledge my letter for three months. Offer Galignani the 
refusal of the copyright in France ; if he refuses, appoint 
any bookseller in France you please, and I will sign any 
assignment you please, and it shall never cost you a Sou 
on my account. 

Recollect that / will have nothing to do with it, 
except as far as it may secure the copyright to yourself. 
I will have no bargain but with English publishers, and I 
desire no interest out of that country. 

I. Marino Faliero, act v. sc. 3. 


Now, that's fair and open, and a little handsomer 
than your dodging silence, to see what would come of it. 
You are an excellent fellow, mio Caro Moray, but there 
is still a little leaven of Fleet-street about you now and 
then a crumb of the old loaf. You have no right to act 
suspiciously with me, for I have given you no reasons. 
I shall always be frank with you; as, for instance, 
whenever you talk with the votaries of Apollo arithme- 
tically, it should be in guineas, not pounds to poets as 
well as physicians, and bidders at Auctions. 

I shall say no more at this present, save that I am, 

Yours very truly, 


P.S. If you venture, as you say, to Ravenna this 
year, through guns, which (like the Irishman's), " shoot 
" round a corner," I will exercise the rites of hospitality 
while you live, and bury you handsomely (though not in 
holy ground), if you get " shot or slashed in a creagh or 
" splore," l which are rather frequent here of late among 
the native parties. But perhaps your visit may be anti- 
cipated ; for Lady Medea's trustees and my Attorneo do 
so thwart all business of mine, in despite of Mr. K 1 ! and 
myself, that I may probably come to your country ; in 
which case write to her Ladyship the duplicate of the 
epistle the King of France wrote to Prince John. 2 She 
and her Scoundrels shall find it so. 

I. Evan Dhu Maccombich wished nothing better for his friend 
Donald Bean than to be hung on the " kind gallows of Crieff . . . 
" if he's not shot, or slashed, in a creagh " ( IVaverley, chap, xviii.). 

z. " So soon as Philip heard of the King's delivery from captivity, 
"he wrote to his confederate John, in these terms : ' Take care of 
"yourself: the Devil is broke loose' " (Hume's History of England, 
ed. 1770, vol. ii. p. 32). 


870. To John Murray. 

R? F? 12? 1821. 

D? S R , You are requested to take particular care 
that the enclosed note is printed with the drama. Fos- 
colo or Hobhouse will correct the Italian; but do not 
you delay : every one of your cursed proofs is a two 
months' delay, which you only employ to gain time, 
because you think it a bad speculation. 


P.S. If the thing fails in the publication, you are 
NOT pinned even to your own terms : merely print and 
publish what I desire you, and if you don't succeed, I 
will abate whatever you please. I care nothing about 
that ; but I wish what I desire to be printed, to be so. 

I have never had the remaining sheet of the Hints 
from H\prace\. 

In the letter on Bowles, 1 after the words " the long 
" walls of Palestrina and Malamocco," add " / Murazzi" 
which is their Venetian title. 

Mr. M. is requested to acknowledge receipt of this 
by return of post. 

871. To Elizabeth, Duchess of Devonshire. 2 

Ravenna, February 15, 1821. 

MADAM, I am about to request a favor of your 
Grace without the smallest personal pretensions to obtain 

1 . For Byron's controversy with Bowles, and his two Letters ; see 
Appendix III. 

2. For the Duchess of Devonshire, see Letters, vol. iv. p. 178, 
note I . Byron's two letters are printed from copies in the possession 
of Mr. Murray. The first letter missed the .duchess, who had left 


it. It is not however for myself, and yet I err for 
surely what we solicit for our friends is, or ought to be, 

Rome for Spa. Byron's second letter and the duchess's answer are 
given below : 

"To Elizabeth, Duchess of Devonshire. 

" Ravenna, July 30, 1821. 

"MADAM, The inclosed letter (of Feb. 15, 1821) which I had 
" the honour of addressing to your Grace, unfortunately for the 
" subject of it and for the writer, arrived after your Grace's de- 
" parture. I venture to forward it to Spa in the hope that you may 
" be perhaps tempted to interest yourself in favor of the persons 
" to whom it refers by writing a few lines to any of your Roman 
" acquaintances in power. Two words from your Grace I cannot 
" help thinking would be sufficient even if the request were still 
" more presumptuous. 

" I have the honour to be, with the greatest respect, 

" Your most obed^ very humble servant, 


"To Lord Byron. 

" Spa, August 17, 1821. 

" I regret very much that the letter which your Lordship directed 
' ' to Rome did not arrive before I left it, for it is always easier to 
" explain the subject which one is anxious about in conversation 
" than by writing unless, indeed, the pen is held by the author of 
" Childe Harold. I will, however, certainly write to Rome about 
" the persons who interest you so much, and shall be happy if I 
" can be of any use to them. I recollect Madame Martinetti's 
"introducing to me a gentleman of the name of Gamba ; but it is 
" the warm interest which you express, my Lord, that will make me 
"particularly anxious to succeed for them. Lady Melbourne had, 
" I know, the greatest regard and friendship for you ; and I had 
"ever the sincerest affection for her. Whatever regrets subsequent 
" occurrences might have occasioned her, I believe her friendship 
" for you was unvaried. I have found no difficulty in decyphering 
" your letter, without ever being indebted to Lady Bessborough's 
" letters for that advantage ; and I have only to wish that I may be 
" successful in my application, and be able to realize the hopes you 
"have formed from any influence I may possess at Rome. I always 
' ' wish to do any good I can, and in that poor Gibbon and my other 
" friends have but done me justice ; but believe me also, that there 
" is a character of justice, goodness, and benevolence in the present 
"Government of Rome, which, if they are convinced of the just 
" claim of the Comtes de Gamba, will make them grant their request. 
" Of Cardinal Gonsalve it is truly said, ' II a etabli une nouvelle 
"politique formee sur la verite et la franchise; 1'estime de toute 
" 1'Europe le paye de ses fatigues ; ' pray do not judge of the holy 


nearest to ourselves. If I fail in this application, my 
intrusion will be its own reward; if I succeed, your 
Grace's reward will consist in having done a good action, 
and mine in your pardon for my presumption. My 
reason for appealing to you is this your Grace has been 
long in Rome, and could not be long any where without 
the influence and the inclination to do good. 

Among the list of exiles on account of the late 
suspicions and the intrigues of the Austrian Govern- 
ment (the most infamous in history) there are many of 
my acquaintances in Romagna and some of my friends ; 
of these more particularly are the two Counts Gamba 
(father and son) of a noble and respected family in this 
city. In common with thirty or more of all ranks they 
have been hurried from their home without process 
without hearing without accusation. The father is 
universally respected and liked, his family is numerous 
and mostly young and these are now left without pro- 
tection : the son is a very fine young man, with very little 
of the vices of his age or climate ; he has I believe the 
honor of an acquaintance with your Grace having been 
presented by Madame Martinetti. He is but one and 
twenty and lately returned from his studies at Rome. 
Could your Grace, or would you ask the repeal of both, 
or at least of one of these from those in power in the holy 

' City from the reports of others ; your own observation would tell 
' you more than all the reports of others, and, as no one has 
' described its monuments with such beauty of poetry as yourself, so 
' no one, I am sure, would do more justice to the merits of its 
' inhabitants if you staid long enough to know them. I beg of you, 
' my Lord, once more to be assured of the pleasure with which I 
' shall undertake, and the satisfaction which I shall feel, if I obtain 
; the recall of your friends to their native country. 


" I give up the Austrian Government to all you chuse to say of 
" them." 


City ? They are not aware of my solicitation in their 
behalfs but I will take it upon me to say that they shall 
neither dishonour your goodness nor my request. If 
only one can be obtained let it be the father on account 
of his family. I can assure your Grace and the very 
pious Government in question that there can be no danger 
in this act of clemency shall I call it ? It would be but 
justice with us but here ! let them call it what they will. 
... I cannot express the obligation which I should /<?/ 
I say feel only because I do not see how I could 
repay it to your Grace I have not the slightest claim 
upon you, unless perhaps through the memory of our 
late friend, Lady Melbourne I say friend only for 
my relationship with her family has not been fortunate 
for them, nor for me. If therefore you should be 
disposed to grant my request I shall set it down to your 
tenderness for her who is gone, and who was to me the 
best and kindest of friends. The persons for whom I 
solicit will (in case of success) neither be in ignorance of 
their protectress, nor indisposed to acknowledge their 
sense of her kindness by a strict observance of such con- 
duct as may justify her interference. If my acquaintance 
with your Grace's character were even slighter than it is 
through the medium of some of our English friends, I 
had only to turn to the letters of Gibbon (now on my 
table) for a full testimony to its high and amiable 

I have the honor to be, with great respect, 

Your Grace's most obedient very humble Servant, 


P.S. Pray excuse my scrawl which perhaps you 
may be enabled to decypher from a long acquaintance 
with the handwriting of Lady Bessborough. I omitted 


to mention that the measures taken here have been as 
blind as impolitic this I happen to know. Out of the 
list in Ravenna there are at least ten not only innocent, 
but even opposite in principles to the liberals. It has 
been the work of some blundering Austrian spy or angry 
priest to gratify his private hatreds. Once more your 

872. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, February 16, 1821. 

DEAR MORAY, In the month of March will arrive 
from Barcelona Signer Curioni, 1 engaged for the Opera. 
He is an acquaintance of mine, and a gentlemanly young 
man, high in his profession. I must request your personal 
kindness and patronage in his favour. Pray introduce 
him to such of the theatrical people, Editors of Papers, 
and others, as may be useful to him in his profession, 
publicly and privately. 

He is accompanied by the Signora Arpalice Taruscelli, 
a Venetian lady of great beauty and celebrity, and a 
particular friend of mine : your natural gallantry will I 
am sure induce you to pay her proper attention. Tell 
Israeli that, as he is fond of literary anecdotes, she can 
tell him some of your acquaintance abroad. I presume 
that he speaks Italian. Do not neglect this request, but 
do them and me this favour in their behalf. I shall 
write to some others to aid you in assisting them with 
your countenance. 

I agree to your request of leaving in abeyance the 
terms for the three D. f.s, till you can ascertain the effect 

I. Alberico Curioni, born 1790, a tenor singer, sang in London 
1821-32. In the Literary Gazette for May 5, 1821 (p. 285), he is 
described as "a handsome man," with "a voice flexible, but not 
"fine." See also Grove's Dictionary of Music, vol. i. pp. 423, 424. 

VOL. V. R 


of publication. If I refuse to alter, you have a claim to 
so much courtesy in return. I had let you off your 
proposal about the price of the Cantos, last year (the 
3 r . d and 4'!' always to reckon as one only), and I do not 
call upon you to renew it. You have therefore no 
occasion to fight so shy of such subjects, as I am not 
conscious of having given you occasion. 

The 5* is so far from being the last of D. /., that it 
is hardly the beginning. I meant to take him the tour 
of Europe, with a proper mixture of siege, battle, and 
adventure, and to make him finish as Anacharsis Cloots * 
in the French revolution. To how many cantos this 
may extend, I know not, nor whether (even if I live) I 
shall complete it ; but this was my notion : I meant to 
have made him a Cavalier Servente in Italy, and a cause 
for a divorce in England, and a Sentimental " Werther- 
" faced man " 2 in Germany, so as to show the different 
ridicules of the society in each of those countries, and to 
have displayed him gradually gate and blas'e as he grew 
older, as is natural. But I had not quite fixed whether 
to make him end in Hell, or in an unhappy marriage, not 
knowing which would be the severest. The Spanish 

1. Jean Baptiste Clootz (better known by the name of Anacharsis), 
a Prussian baron, born at Cleves, in 1755, was the nephew of 
Cornelius de Pauw, author of Recherches Philosophiqties sur les 
Amerkains, etc. In 1790, at the bar of the National Convention, 
he described himself as Forateur du genre kumain. Falling under 
the suspicion of Robespierre, he was, in March, 1 794, condemned to 
death. On the scaffold, he begged the executioner to decapitate him 
the last, alleging that he wished to make some observations essential 
to the establishment of certain principles, while the heads of his 
companions were falling. The request was complied with. 

2. In Moore's Fudge Family in Paris (1818), Letter v., occur the 

" Then there came up imagine, dear Doll, if you can 
A fine, sallow, sublime, sort of Werther-faced man, 
With mustachios that gave (what we read of so oft) 
The dear Corsair expression, half savage, half soft." 

1 82 1.] f A PLAY WITHOUT LOVE. 243 

tradition says Hell : but it is probably only an Allegory 
of the other state. 1 You are now in possession of my 
notions on the subject. 

You say The Doge will not be popular: did I ever 
write tut popularity ? I defy you to show a work of mine 
(except a tale or two) of a popular style or complexion. 
It appears to me that there is room for a different style 
of the drama; neither a servile following of the old 
drama, which is a grossly erroneous one, nor yet too 
French^ like those who succeeded the older writers. It 
appears to me, that good English, and a severer approach 
to the rules, might combine something not dishonorable 
to our literature. I have also attempted to make a play 
without love. And there are neither rings, nor mistakes, 
nor starts, nor outrageous ranting villains, nor melodrame, 
in it. All this will prevent it's popularity, but does not 
persuade me that it is therefore faulty. Whatever faults 

I. Don Juan Tenorio of Seville was the hero of the Spanish 
mystery-play, the Atheista Fulminato (see Coleridge's Biographia 
Literaria, vol. ii. pp. 262, seqq.). The mystery was dramatized by 
Gabriel Tellez, i.e. Tirso de Molina (1585-1648), as El Burlador 
de Sevilla y Combidado de Piedra (1626). Moliere's Don Juan; ou 
le Festin de Pierre (1665), versified by Thomas Corneille in 1677, 
was imitated from the Spanish play. In England Shadwell took 
Moliere's version as the model of his Libertine, in 1676. Don Juan 
was the subject of a musical ballet by Gliick, and of Mozart's famous 
opera Don Giovanni (1787). 

In Moliere's Don Juan (acti. sc. i) Sganarelle says of his master, 

' Par precaution je t'apprends, inter nos, que tu vois en don Juan, 

' mon maitre, le plus grand scelerat que la terre ait jamais porte, un 

' chien, un demon, un Turc, un heretique qui ne croit ni ciel, ni 

' Saint, ni Dieu, ni loup-garou, qui passe cette vie en veritable bete 

' brute, un pourceau cl'Epicure, un vrai Sardanapale, qui ferme 

' 1'oreille a toutes les remontrances Chretiennes qu'on lui peut faire, 

' et traite de billevesees tout ce que nous croyons." In the old 

Spanish version of the story, Don Juan seduces the daughter of the 

governor, Don Gonsalvo de Ulloa, and then kills the father. Forcing 

his way into the family vault of the Ulloas, in the Church of St. 

Francis, he finds a marble statue raised to the memory of the 

murdered man. He invites the statue to a banquet. His invitation 

is accepted ; the guest delivers Don Juan to the devils to be tormented, 

and he is swallowed up in a cloud of fire. 


it has will arise from deficiency in the conduct, rather 
than in the conception, which is simple and severe. 

So you epigrammatize upon my epigram f I will pay 
you for tha^ mind if I don't, some day. I never let any 
one off in the long run (who first begins) : remember 
Sam, and see if I don't do you as good a turn. You 
unnatural publisher ! what ! quiz your own authors ! You 
are a paper Cannibal. 

In the letter on Bowles (which I sent by Tuesday's 
post) after the words " attempts had been made " (alluding 
to the republication of English Bards), add the words 
" in Ireland; " for I believe that Cawthorn did not begin 
his attempts till after I had left England the second time. 
Pray attend to this. Let me know what you and your 
Squad think of the letter on Bowles. 1 

I did not think the second Seal so bad : surely it is 
far better than the Saracen's head with which you have 
sealed your last letter ; the larger, in profile, was surely 
much better than that. 

So Foscolo says he will get you a seal cut better in 
Italy : he means a throat that is the only thing they do 
dexterously. The Arts all but Canova's, and Mor- 
ghen's, 2 and Ovid's 3 (I don't mean poetry), are as low 
as need be : look at the Seal which I gave to W 1 ? Bankes, 
and own it. How came George Bankes to quote English 

1. Gifford's opinion of the letter in defence of Pope is quoted 
in the Memoir of John Murray, vol. i. p. 420: "It will be unsafe 

' to publish it as it stands. The letter is not very refined, but it is 
' vigorous and to the purpose. Bowles requires checking. I hope, 
' however, that Lord B. will not continue to squander himself thus. 
' When will he resume his majestic march, and shake the earth 

2. Raphael Morghen (1758-1835), born at Portici, near Naples, 
was the famous engraver. He settled at Florence in 1 793, on the 
invitation of the Grand-Duke Ferdinand III., and lived there the 
rest of his life. 

3. The Ars Amatoria. 

1 82 1.] BELZONI. 245 

Bards in the House of Commons ? l All the World keep 
flinging that poem in my face. 

Belzoni is a grand traveller, and his English is very 
prettily broken. 2 

As for News, the Barbarians are marching on Naples, 
and if they lose a single battle, all Italy will be up. It 
will be like the Spanish war, if they have any bottom. 

Letters opened! to be sure they are, and that's the 
reason why I always put in my opinion of the German 
Austrian Scoundrels : there is not an Italian who loathes 
them more than I do; and whatever I could do to 
scour Italy and the earth of their infamous oppression, 
would be done con amore. 

Yours, ever and truly, 


Recollect that the Hints must be printed with the 
Latin^ otherwise there is no sense. 

1. In moving the address at the opening of Parliament (January 
23, 1821), speaking of the way in which "the new springs of know- 
" ledge were endeavoured to be poisoned at their source," Bankes 
says that he was " reminded of the lines of the poet, when he ex- 
" pressed the keen pangs of the bird, wounded by the arrow feathered 
" from his own wing 

" ' Keen was the pang but keener far to feel 

He nurs'd the feather which had winged the steel ! ' " 
So The Traveller (January 24, 1821) gives the quotation from 
English Bards, etc., lines 845, 846, which should have run thus 
" Keen were his pangs, but keener far to feel 

He nursed the pinion which impelled the steel." 
According to Hansard (New Series, vol. iv. p. 39), the quotation 
was correctly made. 

2. Giovanni Battista Belzoni (1778-1823) died of dysentery at 
Gato, in Benin, on his way to Timbuctoo. Murray published, in 
1820, Belzoni's Narrative of the Operations and Recent Discoveries 
within the Pyramids, Temples, Tombs, and Excavations in Egypt 
and Nubia. The book was written without any literary assistance 
beyond that of the individual employed to copy out his manuscript 
and correct the press. " As I made my discoveries alone," Belzoni 
(Preface, p. i.) says, "I have been anxious to write my book by 


873. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, February 21, 1821. 

DEAR SIR, In the 44 l . h page, vol. i?, of Turner's 
travels 1 (which you lately sent me), it is stated that 
" Lord Byron, when he expressed such confidence of it's 
" practicability, seems to have forgotten that Leander 
" swam both ways, with and against the tide ; whereas he 
" (L/? B.) only performed the easiest part of the task by 
" swimming with it from Europe to Asia." 2 I certainly 
could not have forgotten, what is known to every School- 
boy, that Leander crossed in the Night and returned 
towards the morning. My object was, to ascertain that 
the Hellespont could be crossed at all by swimming, and 
in this Mr. Ekenhead and myself both succeeded, the 
one in an hour and ten minutes, and the other in one 
hour and five minutes. The tide was not in our favour : 
on the contrary, the great difficulty was to bear up 
against the current, which, so far from helping us to the 
Asiatic side, set us down right towards the Archipelago. 
Neither Mr. Ekenhead, myself, nor, I will venture to 
add, any person on board the frigate, from Captain (now 
Admiral) Bathurst downwards, had any notion of a 
difference of the current on the Asiatic side, of which 
Mr. Turner speaks. I never heard of it till this moment, 

' myself, though in so doing the reader will consider me, and with 
' great propriety, guilty of temerity ; but the public will perhaps 
' gain in the fidelity of my narrative what it loses in elegance. I 
' am not an Englishman, but I prefer that my readers should receive 
' from myself, as well as I am able to describe them, an account of 
' my proceedings in Egypt, in Nubia, on the coast of the Red Sea, 
' and in the Oasis ; rather than run the risk of having my meaning 
' misrepresented by another. If I am intelligible, it is all that I 
' can expect." 

1. Journal of a Tour in the Levant ', by William Turner, 3 vols., 
1820. The book was published by Murray. 

2. See Letters, vol. i. p. 263, note I. 

1 82 1.] MODERN LEANDERS. 247 

or I would have taken the other course. Lieutenant 
Ekenhead's sole motive, and mine also, for setting out 
from the European side was, that the little Cape above 
Sestos was a more prominent starting place, and the 
frigate, which lay below, close under the Asiatic castle, 
formed a better point of view for us to swim towards ; 
and, in fact, we landed immediately below it. 

Mr. Turner says, "Whatever is thrown into the 
" Stream on this part of the European bank must arrive 
"at the Asiatic shore." This is so far from being the 
case, that it imist arrive in the Archipelago, if left to the 
Current, although a strong wind in the Asiatic direction 
might have such an effect occasionally. 

Mr. Turner attempted the passage from the Asiatic 
side, and failed. "After five and twenty minutes, in 
" which he did not advance a hundred yards, he gave 
" it up from complete exhaustion." This is very pos- 
sible, and might have occurred to him just as readily 
on the European side. He should have set out a 
couple of miles higher, and could then have come 
out below the European castle. I particularly stated, 
and Mr. Hobhouse has done so also, that we were 
obliged to make the real passage of one mile extend to 
between three and /our, owing to the force of the stream. 
I can assure Mr. Turner, that his Success would have 
given me great pleasure, as it would have added one 
more instance to the proofs of the practicability. It is 
not quite fair in him to infer, that because he failed, 
Leander could not succeed. There are still four in- 
stances on record : a Neapolitan, a young Jew, Mr. 
Ekenhead, and myself; the two last done in the presence 
of hundreds of English Witnesses. 

With regard to the difference of the current, I per- 
ceived none : it is favourable to the Swimmer on neither 


side, but may be stemmed by plunging into the Sea, 
a considerable way above the opposite point of the coast 
which the Swimmer wishes to make, but still bearing up 
against it : it is strong, but if you calculate well, you may 
reach land. My own experience and that of others bids 
me pronounce the passage of Leander perfectly practi- 
cable : any young man, in good health and tolerable 
skill in swimming, might succeed in it from either side. 
I was three hours in swimming across the Tagus, which 
is much more hazardous, being two hours longer than 
the passage of the Hellespont. Of what may be done 
in swimming, I will mention one more instance. In 
iSiS, 1 the Chevalier Mengaldo (a Gentleman of Bas- 
sano), a good Swimmer, wished to swim with my friend 
Mr. Alexander Scott and myself. As he seemed par- 
ticularly anxious on the subject, we indulged him. We 
all three started from the Island of the Lido and swam 
to Venice. At the entrance of the Grand Canal, Scott 
and I were a good way ahead, and we saw no more 
of our foreign friend, which, however, was of no con- 
sequence, as there was a Gondola to hold his cloathes 
and pick him up. Scott swum on till past the Rialto, 
where he got out, less from fatigue than from chill, 
having been four hours in the water, without rest or 
stay, except what is to be obtained by floating on 
one's back this being the condition of our performance. 
I continued my course on to Santa Chiara, comprizing 
the whole of the Grand Canal (besides the distance from 
the Lido), and got out where the Laguna once more 
opens to Fusina. I had been in the water, by my watch, 
without help or rest, and never touching ground or boat, 
four hours and twenty minutes. To this Match, and 
during the greater part of it's performance, Mr. Hoppner, 
I. This was in June, 1818. 


the Consul General, was witness ; and it is well known 
to many others. Mr. Turner can easily verify the fact, 
if he thinks it worth while, by referring to Mr. Hoppner. 
The distance we could not accurately ascertain; it was 
of course considerable. 

I crossed the Hellespont in one hour and ten minutes 
only. I am now ten years older in time, and twenty in 
constitution, than I was when I passed the Dardanelles ; 
and yet two years ago I was capable of swimming four 
hours and twenty minutes ; and I am sure that I could 
have continued two hours longer, though I had on a pair 
of trowsers, an accoutrement which by no means assists 
the performance. My two companions were also four 
hours in the water. Mengaldo might be about thirty 
years of age ; Scott about six and twenty. 

With this experience in swimming at different periods 
of life, not only upon the SPOT, but elsewhere, of various 
persons, what is there to make me doubt that Leander's 
exploit was perfectly practicable? If three individuals 
did more than the passage of the Hellespont, why should 
he have done less ? But Mr. Turner failed, and, naturally 
seeking a plausible reason for his failure, lays the blame 
on the Asiatic side of the Strait. To me the cause is 
evident. He tried to swim directly across, instead of 
going higher up to take the vantage. He might as well 
have tried \afly over Mount Athos. 

That a young Greek of the heroic times, in love, and 
with his limbs in full vigour, might have succeeded in such 
an attempt is neither wonderful nor doubtful. 1 Whether 

I. Turner says (Tour in the Levant^ vol. i. pp. 44, 45), " Having 
" been accustomed to swimming from my childhood, I have no 
" hesitation in asserting that no man could have strength to swim a 
" mile and a half (the breadth of the Strait in the narrowest spot, 
' ' a little northerly of the castles) against such a current ; and higher 
"up or lower down, the Strait widens so considerably, that he 


he attempted it or not is another question, because he 
might have had a small boat to save him the trouble. 

I am yours very truly, 


P.S. Mr. Turner says that the swimming from 
Europe to Asia was " the easiest part of the task." I 
doubt whether Leander found it so, as it was the return : 
however, he had several hours between the intervals. 
The argument of Mr. T., " that higher up or lower down, 
" the strait widens so considerably that he would save 
" little labour by his starting," is only good for indifferent 
swimmers : a man of any practice or skill will always 
consider the distance less than the strength of the stream. 
If Ekenhead and myself had thought of crossing at the 
narrowest point, instead of going up to the Cape above it, 
we should have been swept down to Tenedos. The 
Strait is, however, not extremely wide, even where it 
broadens above and below the forts. As the frigate was 
stationed some time in the Dardanelles waiting for the 
firman, I bathed often in the strait subsequently to our 
traject, and generally on the Asiatic side, without perceiv- 
ing the greater Strength of the opposing Stream by which 
the diplomatic traveller palliates his own failure. An 
amusement in the small bay which opens immediately 
below the Asiatic fort was to dive for the LAND tortoises, 
which we flung in on purpose, as they amphibiously 
crawled along the bottom. This does not argue any 
vaster violence of current than on the European shore. 
With regard to the modest insinuation that we chose the 
European side as "easier," I appeal to Mr. Hobhouse 

"would save little labour by changing his place of starting. I 
"therefore treat the tale of Leander's swimming across both ways 
" as one of those fables to which the Greeks were so ready to give 
" the name of history. Quidquid Grczcia meiidax audet in historid." 


and Admiral Bathurst if it be true or no ? (poor Ekenhead 
being since dead) : had we been aware of any such 
difference of Current as is asserted, we would at least 
have proved it, and were not likely to have given it up in 
the twenty five minutes of Mr. T.'s own experiment. 
The secret of all this is, that Mr. Turner failed, and that 
we succeeded ; and he is consequently disappointed, and 
seems not unwilling to overshadow whatever little merit 
there might be in our Success. Why did he not try the 
European side ? If he had succeeded there, after failing 
on the Asiatic, his plea would have been more graceful 
and gracious. Mr. T. may find what fault he pleases 
with my poetry, or my politics ; but I recommend him 
to leave aquatic reflections, till he is able to swim " five 
" and twenty minutes " without being " exhausted" though 
I believe he is the first modern Tory who ever swam 
" against the Stream " for half the time. 1 

874. To Thomas Moore. 

Ravenna, February 22, 1821. 

As I wish the soul of the late Antoine Galignani to 
rest in peace, (you will have read his death, published by 
himself, in his own newspaper,) you are requested parti- 
cularly to inform his children and heirs, that of their 
" Literary Gazette" to which I subscribed more than two 
months ago, I have only received one number^ notwith- 
standing I have written to them repeatedly. If they have 
no regard for me, a subscriber, they ought to have some 
for their deceased parent, who is undoubtedly no better 
off in his present residence for this total want of attention. 

I. The above letter was published in the Monthly Magazine 
for April, 1821 (pp. 363-365), and in the Traveller for April 3, 
1821. Turner's reply, published by Moore, in the Life, is given in 
Appendix VII. 


If not, let me have my francs. They were paid by 
Missiaglia, the Venetian bookseller. You may also hint 
to them that when a gentleman writes a letter, it is usual 
to send an answer. If not, I shall make them "a 
" speech," which will comprise an eulogy on the deceased. 
We are here full of war, and within two days of the 
seat of it, expecting intelligence momently. We shall 
now see if our Italian friends are good for any thing but 
"shooting round a corner," like the Irishman's gun. 
Excuse haste, I write with my spurs putting on. My 
horses are at the door, and an Italian Count waiting to 
accompany me in my ride. 

Yours, etc. 

P.S. Pray, amongst my letters, did you get one 
detailing the death of the commandant here? He was 
killed near my door, and died in my house. 


To the air of " How now, Madame Flirt" in the 

Beggars' Opera. 1 

BOWLES. Why, how now, saucy Tom, 
If you thus must ramble, 
I will publish some 

Remarks on Mr. Campbell. 

I. The Beggar's Opera, act ii. sc. 2 

Air, "Good morrow, Gossip Joan." 

" POLLY. Why, how now, Madam Flirt 1 

If you thus must chattel ; 
And are for flinging dirt, 
Lefs try who best can spatter, 

Madam Flirt! 

" LUCY. Why, 7iow now, saucy jade ? 

Sure the wench is tipsy ! 
How can you see me made [To him. 

The scoff of such a gipsy ? 

Saucy jatie ! " [To her, 

1 82 1.] BOWLES AND CAMPBELL. 253 


CAMPBELL. Why, how now, Billy Bowles ? 
Sure the priest is maudlin ! 
(To the public) How can you, damn your souls ! 
Listen to his twaddling ? 

875. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, February 26'. h 1821. 

DEAR MORAY, Over the second Note, 1 viz. the one on 
Lady M. Montague, I leave you a complete discretionary 
power of omission altogether, or curtailment, as you please, 
since it may be scarcely chaste enough for the Canting 
prudery of the day. The ./Err/ note on a different subject 
you had better append to the letter. 

Let me know what your Utican Senate say, and 
acknowledge all the packets. 

Yours ever, 


Write to Moore, and ask him for my lines to him 
beginning with 

" My Boat is at the shore : " 2 

they have been published incorrectly : you may publish 

I have written twice to Thorwalsen without any 
answer ! ! Tell Hobhouse so ; he -was paid four years ago : 
you must address some English at Rome upon the subject 
I know none there myself. 

1. The second note is now for the first time printed at the end of 
Byron's First Letter to John Murray, in Appendix III. 

2. The lines were published in the Traveller for January 8, 1821. 
Moore, in his Diary for January 15, 1821 (Memoirs, etc., vol. iii. p. 
190), notes: "Had seen, Saturday (13), Lord B.'s verses to me 
" (' My Boat is on the Shore '), very incorrectly given in the Times ; 
" sent off a correct copy of them to-day to Perry." 


On the 2" d January 
Upon this day I married and full sore 
Repent that marriage, but my father's more. 


Upon this day I married, and deplore 
That Marriage deeply, but my father's more. 

On the same day to 

This day of all our days has done 

The most for me and you : 
'Tis just six years since We were One 
And Jive since we were two. 

876. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, March 15' 1821. 

DEAR MORAY, After the Stanza, 2 near the close of 
Canto 5' h , which ends with 

" Has quite the contrary effect on Vice," 
Insert the following : 

Thus in the East they are extremely strict 
And Wedlock and a Padlock mean the same, 

Excepting only when the former's picked 
It ne'er can be replaced in proper frame, 

Spoilt, as a pipe of Claret is when pricked 
But then their own Polygamy's to blame : 

Why don't they knead two virtuous souls for life, 

Into that moral Centaur, Man and Wife ? 

I have received the remainder of the Hints without 
the Latin^ and without the Note upon Pope from the 

1. The following lines are written on the back of the above letter. 

2. Don Juan, Canto V. stanza clvii. 

1 82 1.] HINTS FROM HORACE. 255 

Letter to the Edinburgh] B\lackwood 's] M\agazine\ 
Instead of this you send the lines on Jeffrey? though you 
know so positively that they were to be omitted, that I 
left the. direction, that they should be cancelled, appended to 
my power of Attorney to you previously to my leaving 
England, and in case of my demise before the publica- 
tion of the Hints. Of course they must be omitted, and 
I feel vexed that they were sent. 

Has the whole English text been sent regularly 
continued from the part broken off in the first proofs ? 
And, pray request Mr. Hobhouse to adjust the Latin to 
the English : the imitation is so close, that I am un- 
willing to deprive it of its principal merit its closeness. 
I look upon it and my Pulci 2 as by far the best things of 
my doing : you will not think so, and get frightened for 
fear I should charge accordingly ; but I know that they 
will not be popular, so don't be afraid publish them 

The enclosed letter will make you laugh. Pray 
answer it for me and secretly, not to mortify him. 

Tell Mr. Balfour that I never wrote for a prize in my 
life, and that the very thought of it would make me write 
worse than the very worst Scribbler. As for the twenty 
pounds he wants to gain, you may send them to him for 
me, and deduct them in reckoning with Mr. Kinnaird. 
Deduct also your own bill for books and powders, etc., etc., 
which must be considerable. 

Give my love to Sir W. Scott, and tell him to write 
more novels : pray send out Waverley and the Guy M., 
and the Antiquary. It is five years since I have had a 
copy. I have read all the others forty times. 

1. See Poems, vol. i. pp. 430-433. 

2. I.e. his translation of Canto I. of Luigi Pulci's Morgante 


Have you received all my packets, on Pope, letters, 
etc., etc., etc. ? I write in great haste. 

Yours ever, 


P.S. I have had a letter from Hodgson, who, it 
seems, has also taken up Pope, and adds " the liberties 
" I have taken with your poetry in this pamphlet are no 
" more than I might have ventured in those delightful 
" days, etc. : " that may very well be ; but if he has said 
any thing that I don't like, I'll Archbishop of Grenada 
him. I am in a polemical humour. 

877. To John Murray. 

March 2, 1821. 

D" MURRAY, This was the beginning of a letter 
which I meant for Perry, 1 but stopt short, hoping you 
would be able to prevent the theatres. Of course you 
need not send it ; but it explains to you my feelings on 
the subject. You say that " there is nothing to fear, let 
" them do what they please ; " that is to say, that you 
would see me damned with great tranquillity. You are a 
fine fellow. 

Ravenna, January 22, 1821. 

DEAR SIR, I have received a strange piece of news, 
which cannot be more disagreeable to your Public than 
it is to me. Letters and the Gazettes do me the honour 
to say that it is the intention of some of the London 
Managers to bring forward on their Stage the poem of 
Marino Faliero, etc. t which was never intended for such 
an exhibition, and I trust will never undergo it. It is 

I. Editor of the Morning Chronicle. 

1 82 1.] AN APPEAL TO THE PRESS. 257 

certainly unfit for it. I have never written but for the 
solitary reader, and require no experiments for applause 
beyond his silent approbation. Since such an attempt to 
drag me forth as a Gladiator in the Theatrical Arena is a 
violation of all the courtesies of Literature : I trust that 
the impartial part of the Press will step between me and 
this pollution. I say pollution, because every violation 
of a right is such, and I claim my right as an author to 
prevent what I have written from being turned into a 
Stage-play. I have too much respect for the Public to 
permit this of my own free will. Had I sought their 
favour, it would have been by a Pantomime. 

I have said that I write only for the reader. Beyond 
this I cannot consent to any publication, or to the abuse 
of any publication of mine to the purposes of Histrionism. 
The applauses of an audience would give me no pleasure ; 
their disapprobation might, however, give me pain. The 
wager is therefore not equal. You may, perhaps, say, 
"how can this be? if their disapprobation gives pain, 
"their praise might afford pleasure?" By no means. 
The kick of an Ass or the Sting of a Wasp may be painful 
to those who would find nothing agreeable in the Braying 
of the one or in the Buzzing of the other. 

This may not seem a courteous comparison, but I 
have no other ready ; and it occurs naturally. 

878. To John Murray. 

R? March 9^ h 1821. 

ILLUSTRIOUS MORAY, You are requested with the 
' : advice of friends " to continue to patch the enclosed 
" Addenda " into my letter to you on the Subject of Bill 
Bowles's Pope, etc. I think that it may be inoculated 
into the body of the letter with a little care. Consult, 
and engraft it. 
VOL. v. s 


I enclose you the proposition of a Mr. Fearman, 1 one 
of your brethren : there is a civil gentleman for you. 

Yours truly, 

879. To John Murray. 

Ra M 12 l82I. 

D R M Y -, Insert, where they may seem apt, the 
inclosed addenda to the Lettei- on Bowles^ etc. : they 
will come into the body of the letter, if you consult any 
of your Utica where to place them. If there is too much, 
or too harsh, or not intelligible, etc., let me know, and I 
will alter or omit the portion pointed out. 


P.S. Please to acknowledge all packets containing 
matters of print by return of post : letters of mere con- 
venance may wait your bibliopolar pleasure and leisure. 

880. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, Marzo, 1821. 

DEAR MORAY, In my packet of the i2th Instant, in 
the last sheet (not the half sheet), last page, omit the 
sentence which (denning, or attempting to define, what 
and who are gentlemanly) begins, " I should say at least in 
" life, that most military men have it, and few naval ; that 
" several men of rank have it, and few lawyers," 2 etc., etc. 

1. Fearman, a publisher, of 170 New Bond Street, had offered 
to publish Cantos III., IV., V. of Don yuan, about which Murray 
was hesitating. 

2. The passage defining "what and who are gentlemanly," and 
the "digression on the vulgar poets," will be found at the end of 
Byron's second Letter to John Murray, (See Appendix III. p. 591.) 


I say, omit the whole of that Sentence, because, like the 
" Cosmogony, or Creation of the World," in the Vicar of 
IVakefield) it is not much to the purpose. 

In the Sentence above, too, almost at the top of the 
same page, after the words " that there ever was, or can 
" be, an Aristocracy of poets," add and insert these words 
" I do not mean that they should write in the Style of 
" the Song by a person of Quality, or park Euphuism ; 
" but there is a Nobility of thought and expression to be 
" found no less in Shakespeare, Pope, and Burns, than in 
" Dante, Alfieri, etc., etc.," and so on. Or, if you please, 
perhaps you had better omit the whole of the latter 
digression on the -vulgar poets, and insert only as far as 
the end of the Sentence upon Pope's Homer, where I 
prefer it to Cowper's, and quote Dr. Clarke in favour of 
its accuracy. 

Upon all these points, take an opinion take the 
Sense (or nonsense) of your learned visitants, and act 
thereby. I am very tractable in PROSE. 

Whether I have made out the case for Pope, I know 
not ; but I am very sure that I have been zealous in the 
attempt. If it comes to the proofs, we shall beat the 
Blackguards. I will show more imagery in twenty lines 
of Pope than in any equal length of quotation in English 
poesy, and that in places where they least expect it : for 
instance, in his lines on Sporus^ now, do just read them 
over the subject is of no consequence (whether it be 
Satire or Epic) we are talking of poetry and imagery 
from Nature and Art. Now, mark the images separately 
and arithmetically : 

1. The thing of Silk. 

2. Curd of Ass's milk. 

3. The Butterfly. 

4. The Wheel. 


5. Bug with gilded wings. 

6. Painted Child of dirt. 

7. Whose Buzz. 

8. Well-bred Spaniels. 

9. Shallow streams run dimpling. 
10. Florid impotence. 

n. Prompter. Puppet squeaks . 

12. The Ear of Eve. 

13. Familiar toad. 

14. Half -froth t half-venom, spits himself abroad. 

15. Fop a&tiae toilet. 

16. Flatterer at the board. 

17. Amphibious thing. 

18. Now tfry)j a /dk/p. 

19. Now struts a Lord. 

20. A Cherub's face. 

21 . A tt^A7<? all the rest. 

22. The Rabbins. 

23. Pride that /rV/fcj the dust. 

" Beauty that shocks you, parts that none will trust, 
Wit that can creep, and Pride that licks the dust." 

Now, is there a line of all the passage without the 
most forcible imagery (for his purpose) ? Look at the 
variety ', at the poetry p , of the passage at the imagination ; 
there is hardly a line from which a painting might not be 
made, and is. But this is nothing in comparison with his 
higher passages in the Essay on Man, and many of his 
other poems, serious and comic. There never was such 
an unjust outcry in this world as that which these 
Scoundrels are trying against Pope. 

In the letter to you upon Bowles, etc., insert tliese 
which follow (under the place, as a Note, where I am 
speaking of Dyer's " Grongar Hill," and the use of arti- 
ficial imagery in illustrating Nature} : " Corneille's cele- 
" brated lines on Fortune 

11 c Et comme elle a 1'eclat du Verre, 
Elle en a la fragilite" ' ' 


I. Polyeucte, acte iv. sc. 2. 


"are a further instance of the noble use which may be 
" made of artificial imagery, and quite equal to any taken 
" from Nature." l 

Ask Mr. Gifford if, in the 5*." act of The Doge? you 
could not contrive (where the Sentence of the Veil is 
past) to insert the following lines in Marino Faliero's 
answer : 

But let it be so. It will be in vain : 
The Veil which blackens o'er this blighted name, 
And hides, or seems to hide, these lineaments, 
Shall draw more Gazers than the thousand portraits 
Which glitter round it in their painted trappings, 
Your delegated Slaves the people's tyrants. 3 

Which will be best ? " painted trappings," or " pictured 
" purple," or " pictured trappings," or " painted purple " ? 
Perpend, and let me know. 

I have not had any letter from you, which I am 
anxious for, to know whether you have received my 
letters and packets, the letter on Bowles's Pope, etc., etc. 
Let me hear from you. 

Yours truly, 


P.S. Upon public matters here I say little : You will 
all hear soon enough of a general row throughout Italy. 
There never was a more foolish step than the Expedition 
to N. by these fellows. 

1. The note was not added. (See Appendix III. p. 551.) 

2. Marino Faliero, a Tragedy, finished July, 1820, was published 
at the end of the year, together with the Prophecy of Dante (Memoir 
of John Murray, vol. i. p. 412). Murray paid ^1000 for the tragedy 
and the poem . 

3. "These lines perhaps from some difficulty in introducing 
" them were never inserted in the Tragedy " (Moore). But in the 
first edition of Marino Faliero (act v. sc. I, ad fin.} the lines will be 
found. The reading " pictured trappings " was adopted. 


I wish you to propose to Holmes* the miniature 
painter, to come out to me this spring. I will pay his 
expences, and any sum in reason. I wish him to take 
my daughter's picture (who is in a convent) and the 
Countess G.'s, and the head of a peasant Girl, which 
latter would make a study for Raphael. It is a complete 
peasant face, but an Italian peasant's, and quite in the 
Raphael Fornarina style. Her figure is tall, but rather 
large, and not at all comparable to her face, which is 
really superb. She is not seventeen, and I am anxious 
to have her likeness while it lasts. Madame G. is also 
very handsome, but it is quite in a different style com- 
pletely blonde and fair very uncommon in Italy : yet 
not an English fairness, but more like a Swede or a 
Norwegian. Her figure, too, particularly the bust, is 
uncommonly good. It must be Holmes ; I like him 
because he takes such inveterate likenesses. There is 
a war here ; but a solitary traveller, with little baggage, 
and nothing to do with politics, has nothing to fear. 
Pack him up in the diligence. Don't forget. 

88 1. To Richard Belgrave Hoppner. 

Ravenna, April 3, 1821. 

Thanks for the translation. I have sent you some 
books, which I do not know whether you have read or 
no you need not return them, in any case. I enclose 
you also a letter from Pisa. I have neither spared 
trouble nor expense in the care of the child ; 2 and as 

1. James Holmes (1777-1860), who had already painted minia- 
tures of Byron, declined to leave England. " Don't be offended 
" with Holmes," writes Murray to Byron (Memoir of John Murray, 
vol. i. p. 424) ; " you were of great essential service in putting him 
" in the way to make a livelihood ; but it is very long before, in his 
" profession, he can gain one." 

2. Allegra had been placed at the Convent of St. Anna, at 


she was now four years old complete, and quite above 
the control of the servants and as a man living without 

Bagnacavallo, the Roman Tiberiacum, a walled city, once famous 
for the strength of its castle, which lies between the rivers Senio and 
Lamone, in the plain of Romagna, about ten miles from Ravenna. 
Shelley, in a letter to Mary Shelley, August 15, 1821, thus describes 
a visit to Allegra at the Convent of Bagnacavallo 

" I went the other day to see Allegra at her convent, and stayed 
" with her about three hours. She is grown tall and slight for her 
" age, and her face is somewhat altered. The traits have become 
' ' more delicate, and she is much paler, probably from the effect of 
" improper food. She yet retains the beauty of her deep blue eyes 
" and of her mouth, but she has a contemplative seriousness, which, 
" mixed with her excessive vivacity, which has not yet deserted her, 
"has a very peculiar effect in a child. She is under very strict 
' ' discipline, as may be observed from the immediate obedience she 
" accords to the will of her attendants. This seems contrary to her 
' ' nature, but I do not think it has been obtained at the expense of 
"much severity. Her hair, scarcely darker than it was, is beauti- 
' fully profuse, and hangs in large curls on her neck. She was 
' prettily dressed in white muslin, and an apron of black silk, with 
' trousers. Her light and airy figure and her graceful motions were 
' a striking contrast to the other children there. She seemed a 
'thing of a finer and a higher order. At first she was very shy, 
' but after a little caressing, and especially after I had given her a 
' gold chain which I had bought at Ravenna for her, she grew 
' more familiar, and led me all over the garden, and all over the 
" convent, running and skipping so fast that I could hardly keep up 
'with her. She showed me her little bed, and the chair where she 
' sat at dinner, and the carozzina in which she and her favorite 
' companions drew each other along a walk in the garden. I had 
'brought her a basket of sweetmeats, and, before eating any of 
' them, she gave her companions and all the nuns a portion. This 
' is not much like the old Allegra. I asked her what I should say 
' from her to her mamma, and she said 
" ' Che mi manda un bacio e un bel vestituro.' 
" ' E come vuoi il vestituro sia fatto ? ' 
" ' Tutti di seta e d' oro,' was her reply. 

" Her predominant foible seems the love of distinction and vanity, 
' ' and this is a plant which produces good or evil, according to the 
"gardener's skill. I then asked her what I should say to papa? 
" 'Che venga farmi un visitino e che porta seco la mamminaj a 
" message which you may conjecture that I was too discreet to 
" deliver. Before I went away she made me run all over the convent 
" like a mad thing. The nuns, who were half in bed, were ordered 
"to hide themselves, and on returning Allegra began ringing the 
" bell which calls the nuns to assemble. The tocsin of the convent 
"sounded, and it required all the efforts of the prioress to prevent 
" the spouses of God to render themselves, dressed or undressed, to 


any woman at the head of his house cannot much attend 
to a nursery I had no resource but to place her for a 
time (at a high pension too) in the convent of Bagna- 
Cavalli (twelve miles off), where the air is good, and 
where she will, at least, have her learning advanced, and 
her morals and religion inculcated. I had also another 
reason ; things were and are in such a state here, that 
I had no reason to look upon my own personal safety as 
particularly insurable ; and I thought the infant best out 
of harm's way, for the present. 

It is also fit that I should add that I by no means 
intended, nor intend, to give a natural child an English 
education, because with the disadvantages of her birth, 
her after settlement would be doubly difficult. Abroad, 
with a fair foreign education and a portion of five or six 
thousand pounds, she might and may marry very 
respectably. In England such a dowry would be a 
pittance, while elsewhere it is a fortune. It is, besides, 
my wish that she should be a Roman Catholic, which 
I look upon as the best religion, as it is assuredly the 
oldest of the various branches of Christianity. I have 
now explained my notions as to the place where she now 
is it is the best I could find for the present ; but I have 
no prejudices in its favour. 

I do not speak of politics, because it seems a hopeless 
subject, as long as those scoundrels are to be permitted 
to bully states out of their independence. Believe me, 

Yours ever and truly. 

' the accustomed signal . Nobody scolded her for these scafpature, 
' so I suppose that she is well treated as far as temper is concerned. 
' Her intellect is not much cultivated. She knows certain orazioni 
' by heart, and talks and dreams of Paradise and angels and all 
' sorts of things, and has a prodigious list of saints, and is always 
' talking of the Bambino. This will do her no harm, but the idea 
' of bringing up so sweet a creature in the midst of such trash till 
'sixteen ! " Dowden's Life of Shelley, vol. ii. pp. 435, 436. 


P.S. There is a report here of a change in France ; l 
but with what truth is not yet known. 

P.S. My respects to Mrs. H. I have the "best 
"opinion" of her countrywomen; and at my time of 
life, (three and thirty, 22d January, 1821,) that is to say, 
after the life I have led, a good opinion is the only 
rational one which a man should entertain of the whole 
sex up to thirty, the worst possible opinion a man can 
have of them in general^ the better for himself. After- 
wards, it is a matter of no importance to them, nor to 
him either, what opinion he entertains his day is over, 
or, at least, should be. 

You see how sober I am become. 

882. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, April 21^ 1821. 

ILLUSTRIOUS MORAY, I enclose you another letter 
on "Bowles? But I premise that it is not like the 
former, and that I am not at all sure how much, if any, 
of it should be published. 2 Upon this point you can 
consult with Mr. Gifford, and think twice before you 
publish it at all. Pray send me some more pounds 
weight of Soda powders : I drink them in Summer by 

Yours truly, 

P.S. You may make my subscription for Mr. Scott's 

1. After the murder of the Due de Berri (February 13, 1820), the 
Due de Richelieu succeeded Decazes as head of a moderate adminis- 
tration. The elections of 1821 resulted in a great accession of 
strength to the ultra-royalists and the Comte d'Artois. Richelieu 
resigned, December, 1821, and the "Ultras" under Villele came 
into power. 

2. See Appendix III. The second Letter, to which Byron here 
refers, was not published till 1835. 


widow, 1 etc., thirty instead of the proposed ten pounds ; 
but do not put down my name ; put down N. N. only. 
The reason is, that, as I have mentioned him in the 
enclosed pamphlet, 2 it would look indelicate. I would 
give more, but my disappointments of last year, about 
Rochdale and the transfer from the funds, render me 
more economical for the present. 

P.S. 2*} By next post I will send you the threatening 
Italian trash alluded to in the enclosed letter ; you can 
make a note of it for the page alluding to the subject : 
I had not room for it in this cover, nor time. 

Mr. M. is requested to acknowledge the receipt of this 
packet by return of post, by way of Calais, as quickest. 

883. To Percy Bysshe Shelley. 

Ravenna, April 26, 1821. 

The child continues doing well, and the accounts are 
regular and favourable. It is gratifying to me that you 

1. John Scott (1783-1821) had been Byron's schoolfellow at 
Aberdeen. He had been successively editor of the Censor, the 
Stamford News, Drakard's Newspaper (January 10, 1813). The 
name of the last paper was changed, January, 1814, to the Champion, 
Scott continuing to be the editor. In the Champion, " Fare thee 
" Well " and " The Sketch " were first published, and in the numbers 
for April 7, 14, 21, 1816, Byron and his defender, Leigh Hunt, 
were vehemently attacked at the time of the separation. Scott lived 
abroad from 1815 to 1819, meeting Byron at Venice (see the second 
letter on Bowles). In 1819 he became the first editor of the London 
Magazine (January, 1820). His attacks on Blacbwood's Magazine, 
as the " Mohock Magazine," led to a quarrel with Lockhart, which 
ended in a duel between Scott and J. H. Christie. The duel took 
place by moonlight at Chalk Farm, February 16, 1821. Christie did 
not fire the first time ; but on the second occasion his bullet, striking 
Scott above the right hip, inflicted a fatal wound. A subscription 
was raised for his widow and children, to which Byron, under the 
initials " N. N.," contributed .30, instead of the 10 suggested by 
Murray {Memoir, vol. i. p. 420). The fragment given in Appendix 
VIII. may refer to Scott. 

2. See Byron's Second Letter on Bowles, Appendix III. p. 576. 

1 82 1.] DEATH OF KEATS. 267 

and Mrs. Shelley do not disapprove of the step which I 
have taken, which is merely temporary. 

I am very sorry to hear what you say of Keats l is 
it actually true ? I did not think criticism had been so 
killing. Though I differ from you essentially in your 
estimate of his performances, I so much abhor all un- 
necessary pain, that I would rather he had been seated 
on the highest peak of Parnassus than have perished in 
such a manner. Poor fellow ! though with such inordi- 
nate self-love he would probably have not been very 
happy. I read the review of Endymion in the 
Quarterly. It was severe, but surely not so severe as 
many reviews in that and other journals upon others. 

I recollect the effect on me of the Edinburgh on my 
first poem; it was rage, and resistance, and redress 
but not despondency nor despair. I grant that those are 
not amiable feelings ; but, in this world of bustle and 
broil, and especially in the career of writing, a man 
should calculate upon his powers of resistance before he 
goes into the arena. 

" Expect not life from pain nor danger free, 
Nor deem the doom of man reversed for thee." * 

You know my opinion of that second-hand school of 

1. The Quarterly article on Endymion (1818), written by Croker, 
appeared in September, 1818. Two years and a half later, February 
23, 1821, John Keats (1795-1821) died at Rome of consumption. 
His unfortunate passion for Fanny Brawne, pecuniary troubles, and, 
in his enfeebled health, the injustice of the criticism that he had 
received, accelerated the progress of a disease which first declared 
itself in February, 1820. " A loose, slack, not well-dressed youth 

'met me," says Coleridge, " in a lane near Highgate. It was 
1 Keats. He was introduced to me, and staid a minute or so. 
' After he had left us a little way, he came back, and said, ' Let 
' me carry away the memory, Coleridge, of having pressed your 
'hand ! ' ' There is death in that hand,' I said, when Keats was 
' gone ; yet this was, I believe, before the consumption showed 
' itself distinctly '" (Table Talk, vol. ii. pp. 89, 90). 

2. Johnson's Vanity of Human Wishes, lines 155, 156. 


poetry. You also know my high opinion of your own 
poetry, because it is of no school. I read Cenci J but, 
besides that I think the subject essentially ^//dramatic, I 
am not an admirer of our old dramatists as models. I 
deny that the English have hitherto had a drama at all. 
Your Cenci, however, was a work of power, and poetry. 
As to my drama, pray revenge yourself upon it, by being 
as free as I have been with yours. 

I have not yet got your Prometheus, which I long to 
see. I have heard nothing of mine, and do not know 
that it is yet published. I have published a pamphlet on 
the Pope controversy, which you will not like. Had I 
known that Keats was dead or that he was alive and so 
sensitive I should have omitted some remarks upon his 
poetry, to which I was provoked by his attack upon Pope? 
and my disapprobation of his own style of writing. 

You want me to undertake a great poem I have not 
the inclination nor the power. As I grow older, the 

1. The Cenci> a Tragedy in Five Acts was published at Leghorn, 
in 1819. Prometheus Unbound, a Lyrical Drama in Four Acts, 
was published in 1820, in London. 

2. Byron refers to the well-known passage in " Sleep and 
" Poetry," of which the following are lines 193-206 

" But ye were dead 

To things ye knew not of, were closely wed 
To musty laws lined out with wretched rule 
And compass vile ; so that ye taught a school 
Of dolts to smooth, inlay, and clip, and fit, 
Till, like the certain wands of Jacob's wit, 
Their verses tallied. Easy was the task ; 
A thousand handicraftsmen wore the mask 
Of Poesy. Ill-fated, impious race ! 
That blasphemed the bright Lyrist to his face, 
And did not know it, no, they went about, 
Holding a poor, decrepit standard out 
Marked with most flimsy mottos, and in large 
The name of one Boileau ! " 
The allusion to Keats occurs at the end of the Second Letter to 

John Murray. A passage, formerly suppressed, is now restored in 

a note. (See Appendix III., pp. 588-9, note 3.) 


indifference not to life, for we love it by instinct but 
to the stimuli of life, increases. Besides, this late failure 
of the Italians has latterly disappointed me for many 
reasons, some public, some personal. My respects to 
Mrs. S. 

Yours ever, 


P.S. Could not you and I contrive to meet this 
summer ? Could not you take a run here alone 1 

884. To John Murray. 

R?, April 26, 1821. 

DEAR MORAY, I sent you by last postis a large 
packet, which will not do for publication (I suspect), 
being, as the Apprentices say, " damned low" I put off 
also for a week or two sending the Italian Scrawl which 
will form a Note to it. The reason is that, letters being 
opened, I wish to " bide a wee." 

Well, have you published the Tragedy ? and does the 
Letter x take ? 

Is it true, what Shelley writes me, that poor John 
Keats died at Rome of the Quarterly Review? I am 
very sorry for it, though I think he took the wrong line 
as a poet, and was spoilt by Cockneyfying, and Sub- 
urbing, and versifying Tooke's Pantheon and Lempriere's 
Dictionary. I know, by experience, that a savage review 
is Hemlock to a sucking author; and the one on me 

I. Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine for May, 1821 (pp. 227- 
233), condemns the Letter to * * * * ****** iy (fa j?t. Hon. 
Lord Byron (London, John Murray, 1821), as " wholly unworthy of 
"the illustrious author of Childe Harold." Bowles's Two Letters 
to the Right Honourable Lord Byron are characterized " as a most 
' ' satisfactory answer to Lord Byron's paradoxes, and as evincing 
" throughout the spirit of the scholar and the gentleman.' 1 


(which produced the English Bards, etc.} knocked me 
down but I got up again. Instead of bursting a blood- 
vessel, I drank three bottles of Claret, and began an 
answer, finding that there was nothing in the Article for 
which I could lawfully knock Jeffrey on the head, in an 
honourable way. However, I would not be the person 
who wrote the homicidal article, for all the honour and 
glory in the World, though I by no means approve of 
that School of Scribbling which it treats upon. 

You see the Italians have made a sad business of it. 
All owing to treachery and disunion amongst themselves. 
It has given me great vexation. The Execrations heaped 
upon the Neapolitans by the other Italians are quite in 
unison with those of the rest of Europe. 

Mrs. Leigh writes that Lady No /// is getting 
well again. See what it is to have luck in this world. 

I hear that Rogers is not pleased with being called 
" venerable " 1 a pretty fellow : if I had thought that he 
would have been so absurd, I should have spoken of him 
as defunct as he really is. Why, betwixt the years he 
really lived, and those he has been dead, Rogers has 
lived upon the Earth nearly seventy three years and 
upwards, as I have proved in a postscript of my letter, by 
this post, to Mr. Kinnaird. 

Let me hear from you, and send me some Soda- 
powders for the Summer dilution. Write soon. 

Yours ever and truly, 

P.S. Your latest packet of books is on its way here, 

I . In the First Letter on Bowles, Byron speaks of meeting him " in 
" the house of our venerable host" Rogers, "the last Argonaut of 
' ' classic English poetry, and the Nestor of our inferior race of 
'living poets." (See Appendix III. p. 537.) 


but not arrived. Kenilworth * excellent. Thanks for the 
pocket-books, of whilk I have made presents to those 
ladies who like cuts, and landscapes, and all that. I have 
got an Italian book or two which I should like to send 
you if I had an opportunity. 

I am not at present in the very highest health. 
Spring probably ; so I have lowered my diet and taken 
to Epsom Salts. 

As you say my prose is good, why don't you treat 
with Moore for the reversion of the Memoirs ? 2 condi- 
tionally ^ recollect ; not to be published before decease. 
He has the permission to dispose of them, and I advised 
him to do so. 

885. To Thomas Moore. 

Ravenna, April 28, 1821. 

You cannot have been more disappointed than 
myself, nor so much deceived. I have been so at some 
personal risk also, which is not yet done away with. 
However, no time nor circumstances shall alter my tone 
nor my feelings of indignation against tyranny triumphant. 
The present business has been as much a work of 
treachery as of cowardice, though both may have done 
their part. If ever you and I meet again, I will have a 
talk with you upon the subject. At present, for obvious 
reasons, I can write but little, as all letters are opened. 

1. Kenilworth was published in 1821. 

2. Murray (Memoir of John Murray, vol. i. p. 425) writes, 
September 6, 1821, "I forgot in my former letter to notice a hint 

' in yours respecting an additional sum to Mr. Moore. The purchase 
' which I have made of the ' Memoirs ' is perfectly con amore. 
' As a matter of mere business, if I placed the ^2000 in the funds 
' (supposing they did not break), in fourteen years (the least annuity 
' value of the author's life) it would become 4000. Moore should 
' not show the ' Memoirs ' to any one now, 1 think." 


In mine they shall always find my sentiments, but nothing 
that can lead to the oppression of others. 

You will please to recollect that the Neapolitans are 
now nowhere more execrated than in Italy, and not 
blame a whole people for the vices of a province. That 
would be like condemning Great Britain because they 
plunder wrecks in Cornwall. 

And now let us be literary ; a sad falling off, but it 
is always a consolation. If " Othello's occupation be 
" gone," let us take to the next best ; and, if we cannot 
contribute to make mankind more free and wise, we may 
amuse ourselves and those who like it. What are you 
writing ? I have been scribbling at intervals, and Murray 
will be publishing about now. 

Lady Noel has, as you say, been dangerously ill ; but 
it may console you to learn that she is dangerously well 

I have written a sheet or two more of Memoranda 
for you ; and I kept a little Journal for about a month or 
two, till I had filled the paper-book. I then left it off, as 
things grew busy, and, afterwards, too gloomy to set 
down without a painful feeling. This I should be glad 
to send you, if I had an opportunity ; but a volume, 
however small, don't go well by such posts as exist in this 
Inquisition of a country. 

I have no news. As a very pretty woman said to me 
a few nights ago, with the tears in her eyes, as she sat at 
the harpsichord, " Alas ! the Italians must now return to 
" making operas." I fear that and maccaroni are their 
forte, and "motley their only wear." However, there 
are some high spirits among them still. Pray write. 

And believe me, etc. 


886. To Thomas Moore. 

Ravenna, May 3, 1821. 

Though I wrote to you on the 28th ultimo, I must 
acknowledge yours of this day, with the lines. 1 They are 
sublime, as well as beautiful, and in your very best mood 
and manner. They are also but too true. However, do 
not confound the scoundrels at the heel of the boot with 
their betters at the top of it. I assure you that there are 
some loftier spirits. 

Nothing, however, can be better than your poem, or 
more deserved by the Lazzaroni. They are now abhorred 
and disclaimed nowhere more than here. We will talk 
over these things (if we meet) some day, and I will recount 
my own adventures, some of which have been a little 
hazardous, perhaps. 

So, you have got the Letter on Bowles ? I do not 
recollect to have said any thing of yori that could offend, 
certainly, nothing intentionally. As for * * [Rogers?], 
I meant him a compliment. I wrote the whole off-hand, 
without copy or correction, and expecting then every day 
to be called into the field. What have I said of you ? I 
am sure I forget. It must be something of regret for 
your approbation of Bowles. 2 And did you not approve, 

1. Moore has the following notes in his Diary (Memoirs ; etc., vol. 
iii. p. 214) : 

"March 27, 1821. Heard of the surrender of the Neapolitans, 
" without a blow, to the Austrians. Can this be true ? Then there 
"is no virtue in Maccaroni. . . . 

" 28th. The news but too true ; curse on the cowards ! . . . 
" 3Oth. Wrote a few lines about the rascally Neapolitans." 

These were the " Lines written on hearing that the Austrians had 
"entered Naples," beginning "Aye, down to the dust with them, 
" slaves as they are." They were printed in the Traveller for 
April 9, 1821. 

2. For the allusion, see the first Letter to John Murray, Esq., 
on the Rev. W. L. Bowles's Strictures on the Life and Writings of 
Pope, Appendix III. p. 558. On this passage Moore has the two 
following notes : 

VOL. V. T 


as he says ? Would I had known that before ! I would 
have given him some more gruel. My intention was to 
make fun of all these fellows ; but how I succeeded, I 
don't know. 

As to Pope, I have always regarded him as the greatest 
name in our poetry. Depend upon it, the rest are bar- 
barians. He is a Greek Temple, with a Gothic Cathedral 
on one hand, and a Turkish Mosque and all sorts of 
fantastic pagodas and conventicles about him. You may 
call Shakspeare and Milton pyramids, if you please, but 
I prefer the Temple of Theseus or the Parthenon to a 
mountain of burnt brick-work. 

The Murray has written to me but once, the day of 
its publication, when it seemed prosperous. But I have 
heard of late from England but rarely. Of Murray's 
other publications (of mine), I know nothing, nor 
whether he has published. He was to have done so a 
month ago. I wish you would do something, or that 
we were together. 

Ever yours and affectionately, 


" I had not, when I wrote, seen this pamphlet, as he supposes, but 
' had merely heard from some friends, that his pen had ' run a-muck ' 
' in it, and that I myself had not escaped a slight graze in its career. " 

" It may be sufficient to say of the use to which both Lord Byron 
' and Mr. Bowles thought it worth their while to apply my name in 
' this controversy, that, as far as my own knowledge of the subject 
' extended, I was disposed to agree with neither of the extreme 
' opinions into which, as it appeared to me, my distinguished friends 
' had diverged ; neither with Lord Byron in that spirit of partisan- 
' ship which led him to place Pope above Shakspeare and Milton, 
' nor with Mr. Bowles in such an application of the ' principles ' of 
' poetry as could tend to sink Pope, on the scale of his art, to any 
' rank below the very first. Such being the middle state of my 
' opinion on the question, it will not be difficult to understand how 
' one of my controversial friends should be as mistaken in supposing 
' me to differ altogether from his views, as the other was in taking 
' for granted that I had ranged myself wholly on his side " (Life. 
P- 503). 


887. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, May 8'.' 1 , 1821. 

DEAR MORAY, Pray publish these additional notes. 1 
It is of importance to the question in dispute, and even, 
if you can, print it on a separate page and distribute it to 
the purchasers of the former copies. 

I have had no letters from you for this month past. 
Acknowledge this by post ; as this note is worth the whole 
pamphlet as an example of what we are to prove against 
the Anti-christian anti-popists. 


P.S. I copy the following postscript from Moore's 
latest letter to me of April i4' h " Since I wrote the 
" above, Lady E. F. sent me your letter, and I have run 
" through it. How the devil could Bowles say that I 
" agreed with his twaddling, and (still more strange) how 
" could you believe him ?" There ! what do you think of 
this ? You may show this to the initiated, but not publish 
it in print yet at least till I have M.'s permission. 

Get and send me, if possible, Tom Tyers's amusing 
tracts upon Pope and Addison. 2 I had a copy in 1812 
which was, I know not how, lost, and I could not obtain 
another. It is a scarce book, but has run through three 
editions I think. It is in the Boswell style, but more 
rapid ; very curious, and indeed necessary if you think 
of a new life of Pope. Why don't Gifford undertake a 
Life and edition ? It is more necessary than that of Ben 

1. These "notes" are now printed as an "additional note" to 
Byron's first Letter to John Murray, etc. (See Appendix III., p. 563.) 

2. Thomas Tyers (1726-1787), the " Tom Restless" of Johnson's 
Idler, wrote, among other pamphlets, An Historical Rhapsodv on 
Mr. Pope (1781) and An Historical Essay on Mr. Addison (1782). 


Jonson. Nobody can do it but Gifford, both from his 
qualities and turn of mind. 

I have not sent you the Italian Scrap promised in my 
last letters, but will in a few posts. 

Do you recollect the air of " How now, Madame 
" Flirt ? " in the Beggar's Of era 1 l 


" Why how now, Saucy Tom, 
If you thus must ramble, 
I will publish some 

Remarks on Thomas Campbell. 

Saucy Tom ! " 


" Why how now, Billy Bowles, 
Sure the parson's maudlin. 

How can you (damn your souls) [To the public 
Listen to his twaddling ? 

Billy Bowks I" 

Thorwaldsen sent off the bust to be shipped from 
Leghorn last week. As it is addressed to your house 
and care you may be looking out for it, though I know 
not the probable time of the voyage in this Season of the 
year, which is one of light airs and breezes and calms in 
the Mediterranean. 

888. To John Murray. 

May 10, 1821, Ravenna. 

DEAR MURRAY, I have just got your packet. I am 
obliged to Mr. Bowles, and Mr. B. is obliged to me, for 
having restored him to good humour. He is to write, 

I. See p. 252, note I. 


and you to publish, what you please, motto and subject. 
I desire nothing but fair play for all parties. Of course, 
after the new tone of Mr. B., you will not publish my 
defence of Gilchrist : x it would be brutal to do so after his 
urbanity, for it is rather too rough, like his own attack 
upon G. You may tell him what I say there of his 
Missionary * (it is praised, as it deserves), however; and 
if there are any passages not personal to Bowles, and yet 
bearing upon the question, you may add them to the 
reprint (if it is reprinted) of my i st - letter to you. Upon 
this consult Gifford ; and, above all, don't let any thing 
be added which can personally affect Mr. B. 

In the enclosed notes, of course what I say of the 
democracy of poetry cannot apply to Mr. Bowles, but to 
the Cockney-and- Water washing-tub Schools. 

Now, what are we to think of Bowles's story, and 
Moore's ! ! ! they are at issue : is it not odd ? I have 
copied M.'s postscript literally in my letter of the 8'. h . 

I. I.e. the second Letter to John Murray. (See Appendix III. 

P- 567)- 

Octavius Graham Gilchrist (1779-1823), a grocer at Stamford, 
published, in 1805, a volume of Rhymes, edited (1807) the Poems of 
Richard Corbet, and wrote (1811) A Letter to IV. Giffard, Esq., on 
Weber's edition of Ford's Plays. He had plunged into the Pope 
controversy by reviewing Spencers Anecdotes in the London Magazine 
for February, 1820. For further details of his dispute with Bowles, 
see Appendix III. pp. 524, 525. Gifford (Introduction to Dramatic 
Works of yohn Ford, p. lii. note) says 

"This gentleman, whom with Dr. Roscoe, I lament to call 'the 
' late ingenious Mr. Gilchrist,' had not reached the meridian of life 
' when he fell a sacrifice to some consumptive complaint, which 
' had long oppressed him. His last labour of love was an attempt 
' to rescue Pope from the rancorous persecution of his editor, the 
' Rev. Mr. Bowles. I know not why this doughty personage gives 
' himself such airs of superiority over Mr. Gilchrist ; nor why, 
'unless from pure taste, he clothes them in a diction not often 
' heard out of the purlieus of St. Giles. Mr. Gilchrist was a man 
' of strict integrity ; and in the extent and accuracy of his critical 
' knowledge, and the patient industry of his researches, as much 
' superior to the Rev. Mr. Bowles, as in good manners." 
2. The Missionary of the Andes was published in 1815. 


The anecdote of Mr. B. is as follows, and of course not 
for the public: After dinner at L? Lansdowne's, they 
were talking, one evening, as Sir Robert Walpole used 
to talk always. Bowles said that, after all, love was the 
only thing worthy the risk of damnation. 

This is " the tale as told to me " by Moore, and at 
least as good a story as Gibber's of Pope. You may tell 
it again to Mr. B., upon whom it reflects rather credit 
than otherwise, for the humour of it. 

I hope and trust that Elliston won't be permitted to 
act the drama. 1 Surely Jie might have the grace to wait 
for Kean's return before he attempted it ; though, even 
then, I should be as much against the attempt as ever. 

I have got a small packet of books, but neither 
Waldegrave, 2 Orford, nor Scott's Novels among them. 
Some Soda powders, pray ? Why don't you republish 
Hodgson's C. Harold's Monitor and Latino-Mastix ? 3 

1. In opening the Surrey Theatre for Easter, 1821, Thomas 
Dibdin "announced a new melo-drame founded on Lord Byron's 
"recent play of Marino Faliero, Doge of Venice " {Autobiography 
of Thomas Dibdin, vol. ii. p. 199). He was immediately warned 
by Mr. Murray's solicitor that an injunction had been obtained 
against Robert William Elliston, to restrain " the performance of 
" that play or any part thereof," and that similar proceedings would 
be taken against him. 

2. Memoirs from 1754 to 1758, by James, Earl Waldegrave, K.G., 
and Memoirs of the Last Ten Years of George II., by Horace 
Walpole, Lord Orford, were published in 1822 by Murray. Both 
were edited by Lord Holland. Byron was indignant that Murray 
had given more for them than the 2000 which he offered for Don 
Juan (Cantos III., IV., and V.), The Two Foscari, and Sardana- 
palus. As a matter of fact, Murray gave ^2500 for the Waldegrave 
and Walpole Memoirs (Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 90), and .2710 (ibid., vol. 
i. p. 425) for the three tragedies of Sardanapalus, Foscari, and Cain. 

3. Hodgson's Childe Harold's Monitor, or Lines occasioned by the 
Last Canto of Childe Harold, including Hints to other Contemporaries, 
was published in 1818. His S&culo Mastix, or the Lash of the Age 
Vf live in, appeared in the same year. 


they are excellent : think of this they are all for 

Yours truly, 


-To Richard Belgrave Hoppner. 

Ravenna, May n, 1821. 

If I had but known your notion about Switzerland 
before, I should have adopted it at once. As it is, I 
shall let the child remain in her convent, 1 where she 
seems healthy and happy, for the present ; but I shall feel 
much obliged if you will enquire, when you are in the 
cantons, about the usual and better modes of education 
there for females, and let me know the result of your 
opinions. It is some consolation that both Mr. and Mrs. 
Shelley have written to approve entirely my placing the 
child with the nuns for the present. I can refer to my 
whole conduct, as having neither spared care, kindness, 

I. See p. 262, note 2. From 1336 to 1796 the conventual build- 
ings of St. John the Baptist at Bagnacavallo were occupied as a 
Camaldolese Monastery. When religious houses were suppressed by 
the French Revolutionary armies, the convent passed into the hands 
of Count Paolo Gaiani, who, in 1818, made it over to Sister 
Marianna delle Vergine Addolorata, known in the world as Cate- 
rina Fabbri (died 1849). This lady founded the Capuchin Convent 
of St. John as a place of education for girls of noble family. 
Allegra was brought to the convent (January 22, 1821), not by 
her father, but by a Ravennese named Ghigi (La Figlia di Lord 
yron, Emilio Biondi, Faenza, 1899). It was a fashionable school. 
Sig. Biondi writes that Allegra had among her schoolfellows " una 
"marchesa Ghislieri di Bologna, una contessa Loreta di Ravenna, 
"ed una nostra concittadina, morta da non molti anni in avanzata 
" eta, la nobil donna Ippolita Rusconi nata contessa Biancoli." 
During her fatal illness the child was attended by two doctors, and 
had every possible care. But popular tradition, probably distorting 
medical orders that the invalid should be fed sparingly, asserted 
that she was starved to death. Allegra died April 20, 1822. Sig. 
Biondi thinks that he has discovered evidence that Byron, under an 
assumed name, visited the convent in August, 1823 (p. 26). Pro- 
bably the date is a misprint for 1822. 


nor expense, since the child was sent to me. The people 
may say what they please, I must content myself with 
not deserving (in this instance) that they should speak ill. 

The place is a country town in a good air, where there 
is a large establishment for education, and many children, 
some of considerable rank, placed in it. As a country 
town, it is less liable to objections of every kind. It has 
always appeared to me, that the moral defect in Italy 
does not proceed from a conventual education, because, 
to my certain knowledge, they come out of their convents 
innocent even to ignorance of moral evil, but to the 
state of society into which they are directly plunged on 
coming out of it. It is like educating an infant on a 
mountain-top, and then taking him to the sea and throw- 
ing him into it and desiring him to swim. The evil, 
however, though still too general, is partly wearing away, 
as the women are more permitted to marry from attach- 
ment : this is, I believe, the case also in France. And 
after all, what is the higher society of England ? Accord- 
ing to my own experience, and to all that I have seen and 
heard (and I have lived there in the very highest and 
what is called the best), no way of life can be more 
corrupt. In Italy, however, it is, or rather was, more 
systematised ; but now, they themselves are ashamed of 
regular Serventism. In England, the only homage which 
they pay to virtue is hypocrisy. I speak of course of the 
tone of high life ; the middle ranks may be very virtuous. 

I have not got any copy (nor have yet had) of the 
letter on Bowles; of course I should be delighted to 
send it to you. How is Mrs. H. ? well again, I hope. 
Let me know when you set out. I regret that I cannot 
meet you in the Bernese Alps this summer, as I once 
hoped and intended. With my best respects to madam, 

I am ever, etc. 


P.S. I gave to a musicians a letter for you some time 
ago has he presented himself? Perhaps you could 
introduce him to the Ingrams and other dilettanti. He 
is simple and unassuming two strange things in his pro- 
fession and he fiddles like Orpheus himself or Amphion : 
't is a pity that he can't make Venice dance away from 
the brutal tyrant who tramples upon it. 

890. To Francis Hodgson. 

Ravenna, May 12, 1821. 

DEAR HODGSON, At length your two poems x have 
been sent. I have read them over (with the notes) with 
great pleasure. I receive your compliments kindly and 
your censures temperately, which I suppose is all that 
can be expected among poets. Your poem is, however, 
excellent, 2 and if not popular only proves that there is 

1. Probably Childe Harold's Monitor and S&culo Mastix, or the 
Lash of the Age we live in, 

2. In Hodgson's Childe Harold'' 's Monitor (1818) occurs a passage 
in praise of Pope 

" What ! shall the bard majestically sweet, 
Who on the pallid walls of Paraclete 
Hung an undying wreath of softest green, 
While, sadly murmuring through the enchanted scene, 
Fell with new charm the solitary floods, 
And holier moonlight veiled the sleeping woods, 

Shall he be summoned to the bar of shame, 
And slander fix false tinsel on his fame ? 

True, that the wealth of wit at times betrays 
The balanced numbers to too rich a blaze ; 
True that those numbers might, at times, have flown 
With Dryden's notes o'er regions scarce their own ; 
Dared the contrasted pause, and streamed more free 
In soul-o'erflowing tides of harmony : 

But shall we vilify the morning star, 
Bright as he shines o'er earth's dim clouds afar, 
Because unequal to the noonday sun, 
And doomed a humbler course in Heaven to run ? " 
This praise, and some of the criticism on contemporary poets, 


a fortune in fame as in every thing else in this world. 
Much, too, depends upon a publisher, and much upon 
luck ; and the number of writers is such, that as the mind 
of a reader can only contain a certain quantum of poetry 
and poet's glories, he is sometimes saturated, and allows 
many good dishes to go away untouched (as happens at 
great dinners), and this not from fastidiousness but 

You will have seen from my pamphlet on Bowles 
that our opinions are not very different. Indeed, my 
modesty would naturally look at least bashfully on being 
termed the " first of living minstrels " 1 (by a brother of 
the art) if both our estimates of "living minstrels" in 
general did not leaven the praise to a sober compliment. 
It is something like the priority in a retreat. There is 
but one of your tests which is not infallible : Translation. 
There are three or four French translations, and several 
German and Italian which I have seen. Moore wrote to 
me from Paris months ago that " the French had caught 
"the contagion of Byronism to the highest pitch" and 
has written since to say that nothing was ever like their 
"entusymusy" (you remember Braham) on the subject, 

pleased Byron, and made him forgive the severity with which his 
own poetry is criticized. In the notes Hodgson says that the third 
canto of Childe Harold is disfigured with " violations of the true tone 
'of poetic diction," and "rambling metaphysical sentences of 
' broken prose borrowed from the most worthless of his contem- 
'poraries." "Manfred absolutely teems with them," etc. (p. 69). 
' That Harold's occasional images, even in his idlest moments, are 
' as brilliant as ever, nobody can deny ; but long indulgence, and 
' the unaccountable imitation of inferior writers . . . have, assuredly, 
' deteriorated his style to a most lamentable degree. Concerning 
' Beppo, the less that is said the better " (p. 74), etc. 

I. Hodgson had written, towards the beginning of his Childe 
Harolds Monitor 

"Yet, oh ! that, rising at some awful hour, 
The warning voice could breathe resistless power ; 
And touch at once, in Truth's and Friendship's key, 
The first of living minstrels Harold, thee ! " 


even through the " slaver of a prose translation : " these 
are his words. The Paris translation is also very inferior 
to the Geneva one, which is very fair, although in prose 
also, so you see that your test of " translateable or not " 
is not so sound as could be wished. It is no pleasure, 
however, you may suppose, to be criticised through such 
a translation, or indeed through any. I give up Beppo, 
though you know that it is no more than an imitation of 
Pulci and of a style common and esteemed in Italy. I 
have just published a drama, which is at least good 
English, I presume, for Gilford lays great stress on the 
purity of its diction. 

I have been latterly employed a good deal more on 
politics than on anything else, for the Neapolitan treachery 
and desertion have spoilt all our hopes here, as well as 
our preparations. The whole country was ready. Of 
course I should not have sate still with my hands in my 
breeches' pockets. In fact they were full ; that is to say, 
the hands. I cannot explain further now, for obvious 
reasons, as all letters of all people are opened. Some 
day or other we may have a talk over that and other 
matters. In the mean time there did not want a great 
deal of my having to finish like Lara. 

Are you doing nothing? I have scribbled a good 
deal in the early part of last year, most of which scrawls 
will now be published, and part is, I believe, actually 
printed. Do you mean to sit still about Pope ? If you 
do, it will be the first time. I have got such a headache 
from a cold and swelled face, that I must take a gallop 
into the forest and jumble it into torpor. My horses are 
waiting. So good-bye to you. 

Yours ever, 



Two hours after the Ave Maria, the Italian date of twilight. 

DEAR HODGSON, I have taken my canter, and am 
better of my headache. I have also dined, and turned 
over your notes. In answer to your note of page 90 l I 
must remark from Aristotle and Rymer, that the hero of 
tragedy and (I add meo periculo) a tragic poem must be 
guilty, to excite " terror and pity" the end of tragic 
poetry. But hear not me, but my betters. "The pity 
" which the poet is to labour for is for the criminal. The 
" terror is likewise in the punishment of the said criminal, 
" who, if he be represented too great an offender, will not 
" be pitied ; if altogether innocent his punishment will be 
" unjust." 2 In the Greek Tragedy innocence is unhappy 
often, and the offender escapes. I must also ask you is 
Achilles a good character? or is even JEnesLS anything 
but a successful runaway ? It is for Turnus men feel and 
not for the Trojan. Who is the hero of Paradise Lost? 
Why Satan, and Macbeth, and Richard, and Othello, 
Pierre, and Lothario, and Zanga ? If you talk so, I shall 
" cut you up like a gourd," as the Mamelukes say. But 
never mind, go on with it. 

1. To the line in Childe Harolds Monitor 

" In plundering heroes of the Marmion strain " 

Hodgson adds a note (p. 90), in which he says, " Charles Moor, in 
' the Robbers, is the worthy mirror and glass of fashion, in which 
' the poetical heroes of the day have dressed themselves. . . . The 
' long series of depraved heroes : of profligates adorned with courage, 
' and rendered interesting by all the warmth and tenderness of love ; 
' who have formed the prominent object in our more popular litera- 
' ture for many years, cannot but have had the worst effect on the 
' minds of the young," etc., etc. 

2. " Dryden's Life " in Johnson's Lives of the Poets, p. 203, etc. 


891. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, May 14"? 1821. 

DEAR MURRAY, A Milan paper states that the play 
has been represented and universally condemned. As 
remonstrance has been vain, complaint would be useless. 
I presume, however, for your own sake (if not for mine), 
that you and my other friends will have at least published 
my different protests against its being brought upon the 
stage at all ; and have shown that Elliston (in spite of the 
writer) forced it upon the theatre. It would be nonsense 
to say that this has not vexed me a good deal ; but I am 
not dejected, and I shall not take the usual resource of 
blaming the public (which was in the right), or my friends 
for not preventing what they could not help, nor I 
neither a forced representation by a Speculating Man- 
ager. It is a pity that you did not show them its unfitness 
for yf stage before the play was published^ and exact a 
promise from the managers not to act it. 1 In case of 
their refusal, we would not have published it at all. But 
this is too late. 


P.S. I enclose Mr. Bowles's letters : thank him in 
my name for their candour and kindness. Also a letter 
for Hodgson, which pray forward. The Milan paper 
states that " / brought forward the play / / / " This is 

I . Goethe ( Conversations -with Eckermann and Soret, translated by 
John Oxenford, vol. i. pp. 204, 205) said, February 24, 1825, 
' If I were still superintendent of the theatre, I would bring out 
' Byron's Doge of Venice. The piece is, indeed, long, and would 
' require shortening. Nothing, however, should be cut out, but the 
' import of each scene should be taken, and expressed more con- 
' cisely. The piece would thus be brought closer together, without 
' being damaged by alterations, and it would gain a powerful effect, 
' without any essential loss of beauty." 


pleasanter still. But don't let yourself be worried about 
it ; and if (as is likely) the folly of Elliston checks the 
sale, I am ready to make any deduction, or the entire 
cancel of your agreement. 

You will of course not publish my defence of Gilchrist, 
as, after Bowles's good humour upon the subject, it would 
be too savage. 

Let me hear from you the particulars ; for, as yet, I 
have only the simple fact. 

If you knew what I have had to go through here, on 
account of the failure of these rascally Neapolitans, you 
would be amused. But it is now apparently over. They 
seemed disposed to throw the whole project and plans of 
these parts upon me chiefly. 

892. To Thomas Moore. 

May 14, 1821. 

If any part of the letter to Bowles has (unintentionally, 
as far as I remember the contents) vexed you, you are 
fully avenged; for I see by an Italian paper that, not- 
withstanding all my remonstrances through all my friends 
(and yourself among the rest), the managers persisted in 
attempting the tragedy, and that it has been " unani- 
" mously hissed ! ! " This is the consolatory phrase of 
the Milan paper, (which detests me cordially, and abuses 
me, on all occasions, as a Liberal,) with the addition, 
that / " brought the play out " of my own good will. 

All this is vexatious enough, and seems a sort of 
dramatic Calvinism predestined damnation, without a 
sinner's own fault. I took all the pains poor mortal 
could to prevent this inevitable catastrophe partly by 
appeals of all kinds, up to the Lord Chamberlain, and 
partly to the fellows themselves. But, as remonstrance 


was vain, complaint is useless. I do not understand it 
for Murray's letter of the 24th, and all his preceding 
ones, gave me the strongest hopes that there would be no 
representation. As yet, I know nothing but the fact, which 
I presume to be true, as the date is Paris, and the 3oth. 
They must have been in a hell of a hurry for this damna- 
tion, since I did not even know that it was published ; 
and, without its being first published, the histrions could 
not have got hold of it. Any one might have seen, at 
a glance, that it was utterly impracticable for the stage ; 
and this little accident will by no means enhance its 
merit in the closet. 

Well, patience is a virtue, and, I suppose, practice 
will make it perfect. Since last year (spring, that is) I 
have lost a lawsuit, of great importance, on Rochdale 
collieries have occasioned a divorce have had my poesy 
disparaged by Murray and the critics my fortune refused 
to be placed on an advantageous settlement (in Ireland) 
by the trustees ; my life threatened last month (they put 
about a paper here to excite an attempt at my assassina- 
tion, on account of politics, and a notion which the 
priests disseminated that I was in a league against the 
Germans,) and, finally, my mother-in-law recovered last 
fortnight, and my play was damned last week ! These 
are like " the eight-and-twenty misfortunes of Harlequin." a 
But they must be borne. If I give in, it shall be after 
keeping up a spirit at least. I should not have cared so 
much about it, if our southern neighbours had not bungled 
us all out of freedom for these five hundred years to 

Did you know John Keats ? They say that he was 
killed by a review of him in the Quarterly if he be 

i. See Le disgratie d 1 Arlecchino : viz. Harlequin's Misfortunes. 
London, 1726, Svo. 


dead, which I really don't know. I don't understand 
that yielding sensitiveness. What I feel (as at this 
present) is an immense rage for eight-and-forty hours, 
and then, as usual unless this time it should last longer. 
I must get on horseback to quiet me. 

Yours, etc. 

Francis I. wrote, after the battle of Pavia, "All is 
" lost except our honour." * A hissed author may reverse 
it " Nothing is lost, except our honour." But the horses 
are waiting, and the paper full. I wrote last week to 

893. To Richard Belgrave Hoppner. 

Ravenna, May 17'!* 1821. 

MY DEAR HOPPNER, You will have seen a para- 
graph in the Italian papers stating that " L? B. had exposed 
" his t[ragedy] of M\arino\ F\aliero\ etc., and that it was 
" universally hissed." You will have also seen in Galignani 
(what is confirmed by my letters from London), that this 
is twice false ; for, in the first place, / opposed the repre- 
sentation at all, and in the next, it was not hissed, but is 
continued to be acted, in spite of Author, publisher, and 
the Lord Chancellor's injunction. 

I . The famous note of Francis I. to his mother after the Battle of 
Pavia, " Tout est perdu fors Fhonneur" is not historical. The real 
letter begins thus 

" MADAME, Pour vous advertir comment se porte le ressort 
" de mon infortune, de toutes choses n' m'est demoure que 1' honneur 
" et la vie qui est saulve, et pour ce que en nostre adversite cette 
" nouvelle vous fera quelque resconfort, j'ay prie qu'on me laissast 
" pour escrire ces lettres, ce qu'on m'a agreablement accorde." 

The whole letter is printed by Fournier, L } Esprit dans F Histoire 
(ed. 1857, p. 90). Fournier suggests that the phrase may possibly 
be traced to the Spanish historian, Antonio de Vera, who translates 
the alleged billet : " Madama, toto se ha perdido sino es la honra " 
(Viday luchos de Carlos V., p. 123). 


Now I wish you to obtain a statement of this short 
and simple truth in the Venetian and Milan papers, as a 
contradiction to their former lie. I say you, because 
your consular dignity will obtain this justice, which out of 
their hatred to me (as a liberal) they would not concede 
to an unofficial Individual. 

Will you take this trouble ? I think two words from 
you to those in power will do it, because I require nothing 
but the statement of what we both know to be the fact, 
and that a. fact in no way political. Am I presuming too 
much upon your good nature ? 

I suppose that I have no other resource, and to whom 
can an Englishman apply, in a case of ignorant insult like 
this (where no personal redress is to be had), but to the 
person resident most nearly connected with his own 
government ? 

I wrote to you last week, and am now, in all haste, 
Yours ever and most truly, 


P.S. Humble reverences to Madame. Pray favour 
me with a line in answer. 

If the play had been condemned, the injunction 
would be superfluous against the continuance of the 

894. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, May IQ 1 ,' 1 1821. 

DEAR MURRAY, Enclosed is a letter of Valpy's, 
which it is for you to answer. I have nothing further 
to do with the mode of publication. By the papers of 
Thursday, and two letters from Mr. K' 1 , I perceive that 
the Italian Gazette had lied most 7/0/*Vally, and that the 
drama had not been hissed, and that my friends had 
VOL. v. u 


interfered to prevent the representation. So it seems 
they continue to act it, in spite of us all. For this we 
must " trouble them at 'Size : " let it by all means be 
brought to a plea : I am determined to try the right, and 
will meet the expences. The reason of the Lombard lie 
was that the Austrians who keep up an Inquisition 
throughout Italy, and a list of names of all who think or 
speak of any thing but in favour of their despotism have 
for five years past abused me in every form in the 
Gazette of Milan, etc. I wrote to you a week ago upon 
the subject. 

Now, I should be glad to know what compensation 
Mr. Elliston could make me, not only for dragging my 
writings on the stage in five days, but for being the cause 
that I was kept for four days (from Sunday to Thursday 
morning, the only post days) in the belief that the tragedy 
had been acted and "unanimously hissed;" and this 
with the addition that " / had brought it upon the stage," 
and consequently that none of my friends had attended 
to my request to the contrary. Suppose that I had burst 
a blood vessel, like John Keats, or blown [out] my brains 
in a fit of rage, neither of which would have been unlikely 
a few years ago. At present I am, luckily, calmer than 
I used to be, and yet I would not pass those four days 
over again for I know not what. 

I wrote to you to keep up your spirits, for reproach is 
useless always, and irritating ; but my feelings were very 
much hurt, to be dragged like a Gladiator to the fate of a 
Gladiator by that " Retiarius" Mr. Elliston. As to his 
defence and offers of compensation, what is all this to the 
purpose ? It is like Louis the i4' h , who insisted upon 
buying at any price Algernon Sydney's horse, 1 and, on 

I. Byron refers to a discredited anecdote of Sydney and Louis 
" It is said that Louis, seeing Sydney mounted on a splendid 


refusal, on taking it by force, Sydney shot his horse. I 
could not shoot my tragedy, but I would have flung it 
into the fire rather than have had it represented. 

I have now written nearly three acts of another (in- 
tending to complete it in five), and am more anxious 
than ever to be preserved from such a breach of all 
literary courtesy and gentlemanly consideration. 

If we succeed, well : if not, previous to any future 
publication, we will request a promise not to be acted, 
which I would even pay for (as money is their object), or 
I will not publish which, however, you will probably not 
much regret. 

The Chancellor l has behaved nobly. You have also 
conducted yourself in the most satisfactory manner ; and 
I have no fault to find with any body but the Stage-players 
and their proprietor. I was always so civil to Elliston 
personally, that he ought to have been the last to attempt 
to injure me. 

There is a most rattling thunder-storm pelting away 
at this present writing ; so that I write neither by day, 
nor by candle, nor torch light, but by lightning-\igM, : the 
flashes are as brilliant as the most Gaseous glow of the 
Gas-light company. My chimney-board has just been 
thrown down by a gust of wind : I thought that it was 

' English thorough-bred, was so enchanted with the animal that he 
' immediately expressed a desire to become its purchaser. Sydney 
' declined to part with it, whereupon the haughty monarch gave 
'orders that money should be tendered and the horse seized. 
' Sydney, burning with indignation and passion, when this command 
' was brought to him, instantly took a pistol and shot the magnificent 
' steed, saying that his horse was born a free creature, had served a 
' free man, and should not be mastered by a king of slaves " (Ewald, 
Life and Times of Algernon Sydney, vol. ii. p. 17). 

I. "By the way," writes Murray to Byron, March 20, 1821 
(Memoir, vol. i. pp. 420, 421), " Hobhouse spoke to Lord Grey 
" about the impropriety of allowing a play, not intended for per- 
" formance, to be acted on the stage. Earl Grey spoke to the Lord 
" Chancellor, who said that he would grant an injunction." 


the " bold Thunder " and " brisk Lightning " in person 
three of us would be too many. There it goesflas/i 
again ! but, 

I tax not you, ye elements, with unkindness ; 
I never gave yefran&s, nor called upon you ; * 

as I have done by and upon Mr. Elliston. 

Why do not you write? You should have at least 
sent me a line of particulars : I know nothing yet but by 
Galignani and the honourable Douglas. 

Hobhouse has been paying back Mr. Canning's assault. 2 

1. "I tax not you, ye elements, with unkindness, 

I never gave you kingdom, call'd you children, 
You owe me no subscription ; why then let fall 
Your horrible pleasure." 

King Lear, act iii. sc. 2. 

2. In the House of Commons, April 17, 1821, Mr. Lambton, 
seconded by Mr. S. C. Whitbread, proposed "That this House do 
" resolve itself into a Committee of the whole House to consider the 
"state of the representation of the people in Parliament." The 
motion was supported by Hobhouse, who, in meeting the objection 
that the House would be inundated by demagogues, said, as reported 
in the Traveller, April 18, 1821 

" . . . If, however, the demagogue is but six months in finding 
" his level, in shrinking to his proper dimensions, there is a descrip- 
" tion of persons that do not in six months, no, nor in thirty years, 
" find their level, and sink to their proper dimensions here. These 
" are the regular adventurers, the downright trading politicians. The 
" House will easily suggest to itself the sort of which I allude ; 
" but to prevent mistakes, I would presume to attempt a portrait, 
" not finished, but not exaggerated. A smart sixth-form boy, the 
" little hero of a little world, matures his precocious parts at college, 
" and sends before him his fame to the metropolis ; a Minister, or 
" some Borough-holder of the day thinks him worth saving from his 
" democratic associates, and from the unprofitable principles which 
".the thoughtless enthusiasm of youth may have inclined him hitherto 
" to adopt. The hopeful youth yields at once; and, placed in the 
"true line of promotion, he takes his beat with the more veteran 
" prostitutes of Parliament. There he rounds his periods ; there he 
"balances his antitheses; there he adjusts his alliterations; and, 
" plastering up the interstices of his piebald patchwork rhetoric with 
"froth and foam this master of pompous nothings becomes first 
" favourite of the great Council of the Nation. His very want of 
" sincerity and virtue qualifies him for a corrupted audience, who 


He was right; for Canning had been, like Addison, 
trying to " cuff down new-fledged merit" l Hobhouse has 
in him " something dangerous " 2 if not let alone. 

Well, and how does our Pope Controversy go on, and 

' look upon his parts as an excuse for their degeneracy, and regard 
' him, not only as the partner, but as the apologist of their common 
' degradation. Such a man may have notoriously spurned at every 
' principle of public morality and public honour ; he may have by 
' turns insulted, derided, betrayed, and crouched to every party, or 
' at least every politician, in the State. Sometimes he may have 
1 shown all the arrogance of success, at other times have dis- 
' played the true tameness of an underling, and have submitted to 
' serve under those in public whom he has conspired in private to 
1 ruin and destroy. Yet this man with 

" ' Beauty that shocks you, parts that none can trust, 
Wit that can creep, and pride that licks the dust,' 

' this man, I say, shall be courted and caressed in Parliament, and 
' he shall never be so much admired, never so much applauded, as 
' when playing off his buffoonery at the expense of public virtue as 
' when depreciating the understandings or mocking the sufferings of 
' the people. Such a man does not find his level ; he does not 
' shrink to his proper dimensions in the unreformed House ; on the 
4 contrary, he is the true House of Commons hero. Despised and 
' detected as he may be without doors, he finds a shelter in the 
' bosom of the Senate : sunk as he may be in public opinion, he 
' there attains to an eminence which raises him for the time above 
' the scorn of his fellow-countrymen. True, his fame is not lasting, 
' but for the moment he is the glory and the shame of Parliament : 
' no one equals him on that stage. 

" ( Him, thus exalted, for a wit we own, 
And court him as top-fiddle of the town.' 

' Such a man, I say, sir, would have no place in a reformed Parlia- 
' ment ; and if he be either useful or ornamental in a deliberative 
' assembly, it is for him that should be reserved that nest of 
' boroughs which it has been proposed to keep solely for the 
' demagogues. Talents without character would be banished from 
' such an assembly, and the honest discharge of a sacred trust would 
' be the first, instead of the last, requisite of a public man." 

1. Byron probably alludes to Venice Preserved, act ii. sc. 2 

"... those baleful unclean birds, 
Those lazy owls, who, perch'd near fortune's top, 
Sit only watchful with their heavy wings 
To cuff down new-fledg'd virtues, that would rise 
To nobler heights, and make the grove harmonious." 

2. Hamlet, act v. sc. i. 


the pamphlet ? It is impossible to write any news : the 
Austrian scoundrels rummage all letters. 


P.S. I could have sent you a good deal of Gossip 
and some real information, were it not that all letters pass 
through the Barbarians' inspection, and I have no wish 
to inform them of any thing but my utter abhorrence 
of them and theirs. They have only conquered by 
treachery, however. 

Send me some Soda-powders, some of " Acton's Corn- 
" rubbers," and W. Scott's romances. And do pray 
write : when there is anything to interest, you are always 

895. To Madame Guiccioli. 1 


Ecco la verita di cib che io vi dissi pochi giorni fa, 
come vengo sacrificato in tutte le maniere senza sapere il 

I. Of this extract Moore (Life, p. 510) gives the following trans- 
lation, prefaced by Countess Guiccioli's account of Byron's anxiety 
on the occasion : 

"His quiet was, in spite of himself, often disturbed by public 
' events, and by the attacks which, principally in his character of 
' author, the journals levelled at him. In vain did he protest that 
' he was indifferent to these attacks. The impression was, it is 
' true, but momentary ; and he, from a feeling of noble pride, but 
' too much disdained to reply to his detractors. But, however brief 
' his annoyance was, it was sufficiently acute to occasion him much 
' pain, and to afflict those who loved him. Every occurrence rela- 
' live to the bringing Marino Faliero on the stage caused him 
' excessive inquietude. On the occasion of an article in the Milan 
' Gazette, in which mention was made of this affair, he wrote to me 
' in the following manner : ' You will see here confirmation of what 
' I told you the other day ! I am sacrificed in every way, without 
' knowing the why or the wherefore. The tragedy in question is not 
' (nor ever was) written for, or adapted to, the stage ; nevertheless, 
' the plan is not romantic ; it is rather regular than otherwise ; in 

1 82 1.] SUSCEPTIBILITY. 2 95 

perche e il come. La tragedia di cui si parla non e (e 
non era mai) ne scritta nb adatta al teatro ; ma non e 
perb romantico il disegno, e piuttosto regolare regolaris- 
simo per 1* unitk del tempo, e mancando poco a quella 
del sito. Voi sapete bene se io aveva intenzione di farla 
rappresentare, poiche era scritta al vostro fianco e nei 
momenti per certo piu tragici per me come uomo che 
come autore, perche voi eravate in affanno ed in pericolo. 
Intanto sento dalla vostra Gazetta che sia nata una cabala, 
un partito, e senza ch' io vi abbia presa la minima parte. 
Si dice che Tautore ne fece la kttnra ! ! ! qu\ forse ? a 
Ravenna? ed a chi? forse a Fletcher!!! quel illustre 
litterato, etc., etc. 

896. To Thomas Moore. 

Ravenna, May 20, 1821. 

Since I wrote to you last week I have received 
English letters and papers, by which I perceive that what 
I took for an Italian truth is, after all, a French lie of the 
Gazette de France. It contains two ultra-falsehoods in as 
many lines. In the first place, Lord B. did not bring 
forward his play, but opposed the same ; and, secondly, 
it was not condemned, but is continued to be acted, in 
despite of publisher, author, Lord Chancellor, and (for 
aught I know to the contrary) of audience, up to the first 
of May, at least the latest date of my letters. You will 

' point of unity of time, indeed, perfectly regular, and failing but 
' slightly in unity of place. You well know whether it was ever my 
' intention to have it acted, since it was written at your side, and at 
' a period assuredly rather more tragical to me as a man than as an 
' author ; {Q\ you were in affliction and peril. In the mean time, I 
' learn from your Gazette that a cabal and party has been formed, 
' while I myself have never taken the slightest step in the business. 
' It is said that the author read it aloud I ! ! here, probably, at 
' Ravenna ? and to whom ? perhaps to Fletcher ! ! ! that illustrious 
' literary character," etc., etc. 


oblige me, then, by causing Mr. Gazette of France to 
contradict himself, which, I suppose, he is used to. I 
never answer a foreign criticism ; but this is a mere matter 
of fact, and not of opinions, I presume that you have 
English and French interest enough to do this for me 
though, to be sure, as it is nothing but the truth which 
we wish to state, the insertion may be more difficult. 

As I have written to you often lately at some length, 
I won't bore you further now, than by begging you to 
comply with my request; and I presume the esprit du 
corps (is it " du" or "de"? for this is more than I know) 
will sufficiently urge you, as one of " ours" to set this 
affair in its real aspect. Believe me always yours ever 
and most affectionately, 


897. To Richard Belgrave Hoppner. 

Ravenna, May 25, 1821. 

I am very much pleased with what you say of Switzer- 
land, and will ponder upon it. I would rather she 
married there than here for that matter. For fortune, I 
shall make all that I can spare (if I live and she is correct 
in her conduct) ; and if I die before she is settled, I have 
left her by will five thousand pounds, which is a fair 
provision out of England for a natural child. I shall 
increase it all I can, if circumstances permit me ; but, of 
course (like all other human things), this is very uncertain. 

You will oblige me very much by interfering to have 
the FACTS of the play-acting stated, as these scoundrels 
appear to be organising a system of abuse against me, 
because I am in their "list" I care nothing for their 
criticism, but the matter of fact. I have written four acts 
of another tragedy, so you see they can't bully me. 


You know, I suppose, that they actually keep a list of 
all individuals in Italy who dislike them it must be 
numerous. Their suspicions and actual alarms, about 
my conduct and presumed intentions in the late row, were 
truly ludicrous though, not to bore you, I touched upon 
them lightly. They believed, and still believe here, or 
affect to believe it, that the whole plan and project of 
rising was settled by me, and the means furnished, etc., 
etc. All this was more fomented by the barbarian agents, 
who are numerous here (one of them was stabbed yester- 
day, by the way, but not dangerously) : and although 
when the Commandant was shot here before my door in 
December, I took him into my house, where he had 
every assistance, till he died on Fletcher's bed; and 
although not one of them dared to receive him into their 
houses but myself, they leaving him to perish in the night 
in the streets, they put up a paper about three months 
ago, denouncing me as the Chief of the Liberals, and 
stirring up persons to assassinate me. But this shall 
never silence nor bully my opinions. All this came from 
the German Barbarians. 

898. To John Murray. 

R? Mayas 11 ? 1821. 

MR. MORAY, Since I wrote the enclosed a week 
ago, and for some weeks before, I have not had a line 
from you. Now I should be glad to know upon what 
principle of common or /^common feeling, you leave me 
without any information but what I derive from garbled 
gazettes in English, and abusive ones in Italian (the 
Germans hating me as a Coal-heaver 1 ), while all this kick 
up has been going on about the play? You SHABBY 

I . I.e. a carbonaro. 


fellow ! ! ! Were it not for two letters from Douglas 
Kinnaird, I should have been as ignorant as you are 

I send you an Elegy as follows : 

Behold the blessings of a lucky lot ! 
My play is damned, and Lady Noel not. 

So, I hear Bowles has been abusing Hobhouse : l if 

I. Hobhouse contributed to the first edition of English Bards, 
and Scotch Reviewers (Poems, vol. i. p. 327, note I, and Appendix 
III. of this volume) some couplets on Bowles. These couplets 
were afterwards exchanged for Byron's own lines, thus quoted by the 
Quarterly reviewer in his article on Spence's Anecdotes of Books 
and Men (Quarterly Review for July, 1820, p. 425) 

" If Pope, whose fame and genius from the first 

Have foil'd the best of critics, needs the worst, 

Do thou essay 

Let all the scandal of a former age 

Perch on thy pen, and flutter o'er thy page ; 

Affect a candour which thou canst not feel, 

Clothe envy in the garb of honest zeal ; 

Write as if St. John's soul could still inspire, 

And do from hate what Mallet did for hire." 

In the second of his Two Letters to the Right Honourable Lord 
Byron (1821), pp. 103, 104, Bowles, referring to the attack on him- 
self in English Bards and Scotch Reviewers, says, "The task of 
'bestowing the 'heaviest* and heartiest lashes, I find devolved on 
'your friend the gallant and puissant Knight of Westminster. 
' Can I, then, pass over entirely this your coadjutor, now my lance 
' is in its rest ? I do not know whether Hobhouse or your Lordship 
'wrote the lines quoted in the Quarterly. If Hobhouse did not 
' write these, I find he wrote others more severe, and therefore I 
' take them as they stand." He then quotes the lines given above, 
and adapts them thus 

" If snow-white innocence, that from the first 

Has foil'd the best defenders, need the worst, 

Hobhouse, essay 

Let all the pertness of palav'ring prose 

Froth on thy lips, and perch upon thy nose ; 

Affect a virtue that thou can'st not feel ; 

Clothe faction in the garb of patriot zeal ; 

Against King, Commons, Lords, and Canning, bray 

And do for HATE what Santerre did for pay ! " 

To this Hobhouse replied with the following lines, quoted in the 
Memoir of John Murray (vol. i. p. 421) 


that's the case, he has broken the truce, like Morillo's 
successor, and I will cut him out, as Cochrane did the 
Esmeralda. 1 

Since I wrote the enclosed packet, I have completed 
(but not copied out) four acts of a new tragedy. When I 
have finished the fifth, I will copy it out. It is on the 
subject of Sardanapalus? the last king of the Assyrians. 
The words Queen and pavilion occur, but it is not an 
allusion to his Britannic Majesty, as you may tremulously 
(for the admiralty custom) imagine. This you will one 
day see (if I finish it), as I have made Sardanapalus brave ^ 
(though voluptuous, as history represents him,) and also 
as amiable as my poor powers could render him. So that 
it could neither be truth nor satire on any living monarch. 
I have strictly preserved all the unities hitherto, and mean 
to continue them in the fifth, if possible ; but not for the 
Stage, Yours, in haste and hatred, you scrubby corre- 
spondent ! 


" Should Parson Bowles yourself or friend compare 
To some French cut-throat, if you please, Santerre 
Or heap, malignant, on your living head 
The smut and trash he pour'd on Pope when dead, 
Say what reply or how with him to deal 
Sot without shame and fool that cannot feel ? 
You would not parley with a printers' hack 
You cannot cane him, for his coat is black ; 
Reproof and chastisement are idly spent 
On one who calls a kick a compliment. 
Unwhipp'd, then, leave him to lampoon and lie 
Safe in his parson's guise and infamy." 

1. Lord Cochrane, who, in 1817, had undertaken the command 
and organization of the Chilian navy, cut out the Spanish frigate 
Esmeralda, which was lying under the batteries of Callao, on the 
night of November 5, 1820. 

2. Between May and September 10, 1821, Byron sent to Murray 
the three dramas of Sardanapahts, The Two Foscari, and Cain. 
They were published together in December, 1821, Murray paying 
for them 2 710. 


899. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, May 28'?* 1821. 

DEAR MORAY, Since my last of the 2 6th or 25th, I 
have dashed off my fifth act of the tragedy called Sarda- 
napalus. But now comes the copying over, which may 
prove heavy work heavy to the writer as to the reader. 
I have written to you at least 6 times sans answer, which 
proves you to be a bookseller. I pray you to send me 
a copy of Mr. " WranghanHs " reformation of "LanghornJs 
" Plutarch : J " I have the Greek, which is somewhat small 
of print, and the Italian, which is too heavy in style, and 
as false as a Neapolitan patriot proclamation. I pray 
you also to send me a life, published some years ago, of 
the Magician Apollormis of T[yana], etc., etc. 2 It is in 
English, and I think edited or written by what " Martin 
" Marprelate " calls " a bouncing priest" I shall trouble 
you no further with this sheet than y? postage. 

Yours, etc., 

P.S. Since I wrote this, I determined to inclose it 
(as a half sheet) to Mr. K., who will have the goodness 
to forward it. Besides, it saves sealing wax. 

900. To John Murray. 

R a May 30".' 1821. 

DEAR MORAY, You say you have written often : I 
have only received yours of the eleventh, which is very 

1. The Rev. John Langhorne's translation of Plutarch's Lives 
(1770) was edited by the Rev. Francis Wrangham in 1810. 

2. The Life of Apollonius of Tyana, of whom Gibbon wrote 
(Decline and Fall, eel. 1854, vol. ii. p. 22, note), " We are at a loss to 
"discover whether he was a sage, an impostor, or a fanatic," was 
translated into English, from the Greek of Philostratus, by Charles 
Blount in 1680, and by the Rev. Edward Berwick in 1810. 


short. By this post, mfive packets, I send you the tragedy 
of Sardanapalus, which is written in a rough hand : perhaps 
Mrs. Leigh can help you to decypher it. You will please 
to acknowledge it by return of post. You will remark 
that the Unities are all strictly observed. The Scene 
passes in the same Hall always. The time, a Summer's 
night, about nine hours, or less, though it begins before 
Sunset and ends after Sunrise. In the third act, when 
Sardanapalus calls for a mirror to look at himself in his 
armour, recollect to quote the Latin passage from Juvenal 
upon Otho (a similar character, who did the same thing) : 
Gifford will help you to it. 1 The trait is perhaps too 
familiar, but it is historical (of Otho, at least,) and natural 
in an effeminate character. 

Preface, etc., etc., will be sent when I know of the 
arrival. For the historical account, I refer you to Dio- 
dorus Siculus, from which you must have the chapters of 
the Story translated, as an explanation and a note to the 
drama. 2 

You write so seldom and so shortly, that you can 
hardly expect from me more than I receive. 

Yours truly, etc. 

P.S. Remember me to Gifford, and say that I doubt 
that this MSS. will puzzle him to decypher it. The 
Characters are quite different from any I have hitherto 
attempted to delineate. 

1. The quotation was not apparently made in the early edition 
(1821). It is from Juvenal, Sat. ii. lines 99-103 

"Ille tenet speculum, pathici gestamen Othonis, 
Actoris Aurunci spolium, quo se ille videbat 
Armatum, cum jam tolli vexilla juberet. 
Res memoranda novis annalibus, atque recenti 
Historia, speculum civilis sarcina belli." 

2. Instead of the chapters from Diodorus Siculus, the explanatory 
note gives a quotation from Mitford's History of Greece, vol. ix. 
PP- 3JI-3I3- 


You must have it copied out directly, as you best can, 
and printed off in proofs (more than one), as I have 
retained no copy in my hands. 

With regard to the publication, I can only protest as 
heretofore against its being acted, it being expressly 
written not for the theatre. 

901. To Richard Belgrave Hoppner. 

Ravenna, May 31, 1821. 

I enclose you another letter, which will only confirm 
what I have said to you. 

About Allegra I will take some decisive step in the 
course of the year ; at present, she is so happy where she 
is, that perhaps she had better have her alphabet imparted 
in her convent. 

What you say of the Dante is the first I have heard 
of it all seeming to be merged in the row about the 
tragedy. Continue it ! Alas ! what could Dante himself 
now prophesy about Italy ? I am glad you like it, how- 
ever, but doubt that you will be singular in your opinion. 
My new tragedy is completed. 

The B[enzoni] is right, 1 I ought to have mentioned 
her humour and amiability, but I thought at her sixty, 
beauty would be most agreeable or least likely. How- 
ever, it shall be rectified in a new edition; and if any 
of the parties have either looks or qualities which they 
wish to be noticed, let me have a minute of them. I 

I. This refers to the following passage in Note V. appended to 
Marino Faliero: "From the present decay and degeneracy of 
' Venice under the Barbarians, there are some honourable individual 
' exceptions. . . . There is Alvise Querini, who, after a long and 
' honourable diplomatic career, finds some consolation for the 
' wrongs of his country, in the pursuits of literature with his nephew, 
' Vittor Benzon, the son of the celebrated beauty, the heroine of 
' ' La Biondina in Gondoletta,' etc." 


have no private nor personal dislike to Venice, rather the 
contrary : but I merely speak of what is the subject of all 
remarks and all writers upon her present state. Let me 
hear from you before you start. 

Believe me ever, etc. 

P.S. Did you receive two letters of Douglas Kin- 
naird's in an endorse from me? Remember me to 
Mengaldo, Seranzo, and all who care that I should 
remember them. The letter alluded to in the enclosed, 
" to the Cardinal" was in answer to some queries of the 
government, about a poor devil of a Neapolitan, arrested 
at Sinigaglia on suspicion, who came to beg of me here ; 
being without breeches, and consequently without pockets 
for halfpence, I relieved and forwarded him to his country, 
and they arrested him at Pesaro on suspicion, and have 
since interrogated me (civilly and politely, however,) about 
him. I sent them the poor man's petition, and such in- 
formation as I had about him, which I trust will get him 
out again, that is to say, if they give him a fair hearing. 

I am content with the article. Pray, did you receive, 
some posts ago, Moore's lines which I enclosed to you, 
written at Paris ? l 

902. To Thomas Moore. 

Ravenna, June 4, 1821. 

You have not written lately, as is the usual custom 
with literary gentlemen, to console their friends with their 
observations in cases of magnitude. I do not know 
whether I sent you my " Elegy on the recovery of Lady 
" Noel : " 

I. Probably the "Lines written on hearing that the Austrians 
" had entered Naples," with the motto " Carbons Notati ! " 


Behold the blessings of a lucky lot 
My play is damn'd, and Lady Noel not. 

The papers (and perhaps your letters) will have put 
you in possession of Muster Elliston's dramatic behaviour. 
It is to be presumed that the play was fitted for the stage 
by Mr. Dibdin, who is the tailor upon such occasions, 
and will have taken measure with his usual accuracy. I 
hear that it is still continued to be performed a piece of 
obstinacy for which it is some consolation to think that 
the discourteous histrio will be out of pocket. 

You will be surprised to hear that I have finished 
another tragedy in five acts, observing all the unities 
strictly. It is called Sardanapalus, and was sent by last 
post to England. It is not for the stage, any more than 
the other was intended for it and I shall take better care 
this time that they don't get hold on't. 

I have also sent, two months ago, a further letter on 
Bowles, etc. ; but he seems to be so taken up with my 
" respect " (as he calls it) towards him in the former case, 
that I am not sure that it will be published, being some- 
what too full of " pastime and prodigality." I learn from 
some private letters of Bowles's, that you were "the 
" gentleman in asterisks." Who would have dreamed it ? 
you see what mischief that clergyman has done by print- 
ing notes without names. How the deuce was I to 
suppose that the first four asterisks meant "Campbell" 
and not ''Pope" and that the blank signature meant 
Thomas Moore ? x You see what comes of being familiar 

I. "In their eagerness, like true controversialists, to avail them- 
' selves of every passing advantage, and convert even straws into 
' weapons on an emergency, my two friends, during their short war- 
' fare, contrived to place me in that sort of embarrassing position, 
' the most provoking feature of which is, that it excites more amuse- 
' ment than sympathy. On the one side, Mr. Bowles chose to cite, 
' as a support to his argument, a short fragment of a note, addressed 
''to him, as he stated, by ' a gentleman of the highest literary,' etc., 


with parsons. His answers have not yet reached me> but 
I understand from Hobhouse, that he (H.) is attacked in 
them. If that be the case, Bowles has broken the truce, 
(which he himself proclaimed, by the way,) and I must 
have at him again. 

Did you receive my letters with the two or three 
concluding sheets of Memoranda ? 

There are no news here to interest much. A German 
spy (boasting himself such) was stabbed last week, but not 

'etc., and saying, in reference to Mr. Bowles's former pamphlet, 
' ' You have hit the right nail on the head, and * * * * too.' 
' This short scrap was signed with four asterisks ; and when, on the 
' appearance of Mr. Bowles's Letter, I met with it in his pages, not 
' the slightest suspicion ever crossed my mind that I had been myself 
' the writer of it ; my communications with my reverend friend and 
' neighbour having been (for years, I am proud to say) sufficiently 
' frequent to allow of such a hasty compliment to his disputative 
'powers passing from my memory. When Lord Byron took the 
' field against Mr. Bowles's Letter, this unlucky scrap, so authorita- 
' lively brought forward, was, of course, too tempting a mark for 
' his facetiousness to be resisted ; more especially as the person 
'mentioned in it, as having suffered from the reverend critic's 
' vigour, appeared, from the number of asterisks employed in de- 
' signaling him, to have been Pope himself, though, in reality, the 
' name was that of Mr. Bowles's former antagonist, Mr. Campbell. 
' The noble assailant, it is needless to say, made the most of this 
' vulnerable point ; and few readers could have been more diverted 
' than I was with his happy ridicule of ' the gentleman in asterisks,' 
' little thinking that I was myself, all the while, this veiled victim, 
' nor was it till about the time of the receipt of the above letter, 
' that, by some communication on the subject from a friend in 
' England, I was startled into the recollection of my own share in 
' the transaction. 

" While by one friend I was thus unconsciously, if not innocently, 
"drawn into the scrape, the other was not slow in rendering me the 
"same friendly service; for, on the appearance of Lord Byron's 
" answer to Mr. Bowles, I had the mortification of finding that, 
" with a far less pardonable want of reserve, he had all but named 
"me as his authority for an anecdote of his reverend opponent's 
"early days, which I had, in the course of an after-dinner con versa - 
" tion, told him at Venice, and which, pleasant in itself, and, 
"whether true or false, harmless, derived its sole sting from the 
"manner in which the noble disputant triumphantly applied it. 
" Such are the consequences of one's near and dear friends taking to 
" controversy." Moore. 

VOL. V. X 


mortally. The moment I heard that he went about 
bullying and boasting, it was easy for me, or any one 
else, to foretell what would occur to him, which I did, 
and it came to pass in two days after. He has got off, 
however, for a slight incision. 

A row the other night, about a lady of the place, 
between her various lovers, occasioned a midnight dis- 
charge of pistols, but nobody wounded. Great scandal, 
however planted by her lover to be thrashed by her 
husband, for inconstancy to her regular Servente, who is 
coming home post about it, and she herself retired in 
confusion into the country, although it is the acme of the 
opera season. All the women furious against her (she 
herself having been censorious) for being found out. She 
is a pretty woman a Countess Rasponi a fine old 
Visigoth name, or Ostrogoth. 

The Greeks! 1 what think you? They are my old 

I. The Greek Revolution broke out in the provinces of Moldavia 
and Wallachia, under the leadership of Alexander Hypsilantes 
(1782-1828), son of the Hospodar of Wallachia, whose deposition 
(1805-6) served Russia as an excuse for war with Turkey (Finlay, 
History of the Greek Revolution, ed. 1877, vol. vi. p. no). He was 
selected as leader of the movement by the Philike Hetairia, a secret 
society, founded at Odessa in 1814, which helped to prepare the Greek 
Revolution. He had served in the Russian army, become a major- 
general, and lost his right arm at the battle of Culm (1813). But in 
spite of military experience, he proved himself an incapable leader, 
irresolute, vain, treacherous, untrustworthy. Crossing the Pruth 
(February 22) March 6, 1821, he established himself at Jassy, whence 
he issued a proclamation, March 7, calling the Greeks "to arms for 
" our country and our religion," and boasting of Russian support. 
(See the proclamation, dated February 23 (March 7) from Jassy, trans- 
lated in the Traveller for April 13, 1821.) At Bucharest, which he 
reached April 9, he remained inactive, distrusted by local leaders, 
and publicly repudiated by the Emperor Alexander. As the Turkish 
forces advanced, he crept back towards the Austrian frontier. When 
news of his defeat at Dragashan (June 20) reached him, nine miles 
in the rear of his army, he escaped (June 26) into Austrian territory, 
where he was treated as a Russian deserter, and imprisoned at 
Mongatz till 1827. He died at Vienna, January 31, 1828. 

In the Morea, where the rising broke out towards the end of 


acquaintances but what to think I know not. Let us 
hope howsomever. 


903. To Giovanni Battista Missiaglia. 

June 12, 1821. 

DEAR SIR, Tell Count V. Benzone (with my respects 
to him and to his Mother) that I have received his books 
and that I shall write to thank him in a few days. 

Murray sends me books of travels I do not know 
why; for I have travelled enough myself to know that 
such books VtefitBqfBet. 

If you come here you will find me very glad to see 
you, and very ready to dispute with you. 

Yours ever, 


March, 1821, the Greeks were more successful. On April 5, at 
Kalamata, a solemn service of the Greek Church was held as a 
thanksgiving for victories, and, four days later (April 9), an appeal 
was issued to Christendom to aid the Greek Christians against the 
Mussulman. Spreading northwards, the whole country south of 
Thermopylae, by June, 1821, was in the hands of the Greeks, whose 
fleet, under Miaoulis and Kanaris, swept the seas. But patriotic 
efforts were too often defeated by the rivalries of leaders like 
Germanos, Primate of Patras, Demetrius Hypsilantes (1793-1832), 
younger brother of Alexander, who claimed to be viceroy, popular 
leaders like Kolokotrones, or politicians like Alexander Mavrocor- 
datos (1791-1865), the statesman of the movement, who had been 
Mary Shelley's Greek teacher at Pisa. (For a description of Mavro- 
cordatos, see Millingen's Memoirs of the Affairs of Greece, pp. 65, 66.) 
A government and constitution were needed. A National Assembly, 
summoned at Tripolitza, and removed to Piada, near Epidaurus, 
met in December, 1821, and framed a constitution, which was pro- 
claimed January 13, 1822, the New Year's day of Eastern Christians. 
It consisted of a Legislative Assembly, and an executive body of five 
members, presided over by Mavrocordatos, with the title of President 
of Greece. (For Byron's share in the subsequent history of the 
movement, see Letters, vol. vi.) 


904. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, June 14"? 1821. 

DEAR MURRAY, I have resumed my "majestic 
march " (as Gifford is pleased to call it) in Sardanapalus, 
which by the favour of Providence and the Post Office 
should be arrived by this time, if not interrupted. It was 
sent on the 2" d June, 12 days ago. 

Let me know, because I had but that one copy. 

Can your printers make out the MS.? I suppose 
long acquaintance with my scrawl may help them ; if not, 
ask Mrs. Leigh, or Hobhouse, or D. K. : they know my 

The whole five acts were sent in one cover, ensured 
to England, paying forty five scudi here for the insurance. 

I received some of your parcels : the Doge is longer 
than I expected: pray, why did you print the face of 
M[argarita] C[ogni] by way of frontispiece? It has 
almost caused a row between the Countess G. and myself. 
And pray, why did you add the note about the Kelso 
woman's Sketches ? Did I not request you to omit it, the 
instant I was aware that the writer was a female ? 

The whole volume looks very respectable, and suffi- 
ciently dear in price, but you do not tell me whether it 
succeeds : your first letter (before the performance) said 
that it was succeeding far beyond all anticipation; but 
this was before the piracy of Elliston, which (for anything 
I know, as I have had no news your letter with papers 
not coming) may have affected the circulation. 

I have read Bowles's answer : I could easily reply, 
but it would lead to a long discussion, in the course of 
which I should perhaps lose my temper, which I would 
rather not do with so civil and forbearing an antagonist. 
I suppose he will mistake being silent for silenced. 

1 82 1.] A NEW JOURNAL OF TR^VOUX. 309 

I wish to know when you publish the remaining things 
in MS. ? I do not mean theflrose, but the verse. 

I am truly sorry to hear of your domestic loss ; but (as 
I know by experience), all attempts at condolence in such 
cases are merely varieties of solemn impertinence. There 
is nothing in this world but Time. 

Yours ever and truly, 

P.S. You have never answered me about Holmes , 
the Miniature painter : can he come or no ? I want him 
to paint the miniatures of my daughter and two other 

In the i? pamphlet it is printed " a Mr. J. S." : it 
should be " Mr. J. S.," and not " a" which is con- 
temptuous ; it is a printer's error and was not thus 

905. To Thomas Moore. 

Ravenna, June 22, 1821. 

Your dwarf of a letter came yesterday. That is 
right ; keep to your magnum opus magnoperate away. 
Now, if we were but together a little to combine our 
Journal of Trevoux ! * But it is useless to sigh, and yet 
very natural, for I think you and I draw better together, 
in the social line, than any two other living authors. 

I forgot to ask you, if you had seen your own pane- 
gyric in the correspondence of Mrs. Waterhouse and 

I. At Trevoux, on the Saone in the Department of Ain, the Jesuits 
founded the literary journal, Mtmoires de Trevoux, which began to 
appear in 1701. By the same printing-press, established in 1695 
by Louis Aug. de Bourbon, Prince de Dombes, was printed the 
Dictionnaire de Trevoux, the first edition of which, in three folio 
volumes, appeared in 1704. 


Colonel Berkeley ? l To be sure their moral is not quite 
exact ; but your passion is fully effective ; and all poetry 
of the Asiatic kind I mean Asiatic, as the Romans 
called " Asiatic oratory," and not because the scenery is 
Oriental must be tried by that test only. I am not 
quite sure that I shall allow the Miss Byrons (legitimate 
or illegitimate) to read Lalla Rookh in the first place, 
on account of this said passion ; and, in the second, that 
they may'nt discover that there was a better poet than 

You say nothing of politics but, alas ! what can be 

The world is a bundle of hay, 
Mankind are the asses who pull, 

Each tugs it a different way, 

And the greatest of all is John Bull ! 

How do you call your new project? 8 I have sent 
Murray a new tragedy, ycleped Sardanapalus, writ 
according to Aristotle all, save the chorus I could not 
reconcile me to that. I have begun another, and am in 
the second act ; so you see I saunter on as usual. 

Bowles's answers have reached me; but I can't go 
on disputing for ever, particularly in a polite manner. 
I suppose he will take being silent for silenced. He has 
been so civil that I can't find it in my liver to be facetious 
with him, else I had a savage joke or two at his service. 

I can't send you the little journal, because it is in 

1. The case of Waterhouse v. Berkeley was tried at Gloucester 
Assizes in April, 1821. It was an action for damages brought by 
John Waterhouse for the seduction of his wife by Colonel Berkeley. 
The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff, to whom they awarded 
;iooo damages. 

2. The " project " was probably Alciphron, which Moore planned 
in July, 1820, rewrote in prose as The Epicurean (1827), and did 
not publish till 1839. 


boards, and I can't trust it per post. Don't suppose it 
is any thing particular ; but it will show the intentions of 
the natives at that time and one or two other things, 
chiefly personal, like the former one. 

So, Longman don't bite. It was my wish to have 
made that work of use. Could you not raise a sum upon 
it (however small), reserving the power of redeeming it, 
on repayment ? 

Are you in Paris, or a villaging? If you are in the 
city, you will never resist the Anglo-invasion you speak 
of. I do not see an Englishman in half a year, and, 
when I do, I turn my horse's head the other way. The 
fact, which you will find in the last note to the Doge, has 
given me a good excuse for quite dropping the least 
connection with travellers. 1 

I do not recollect the speech you speak of, but 
suspect it is not the Doge's, but one of Israel Bertuccio 
to Calendaro. I hope you think that Elliston behaved 
shamefully it is my only consolation. I made the 
Milanese fellows contradict their lie, which they did with 

the grace of people used to it. 

Yours, etc., 

906. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, June 29".' 1821. 

DEAR MURRAY, From the last parcel of books, the 
two first volumes of Butler's Catholics 2 are missing. As 

1. " The fact is," says Byron, in the note to Marino Faliero here 
referred to, " that I hold in utter abhorrence any contact with the 

' travelling English. ... I was persecuted by these tourists even to 
' my riding ground at Lido, and reduced to the most disagreeable 
' circuits to avoid them. At Madame Benzoni's I repeatedly refused 
' to be introduced to them ; of a thousand such presentations pressed 
'upon me, I accepted two, and both were to Irish women," etc., 

2. Charles Butler (1750-1832), after practising as a conveyancer, 


the book is ''from the author," in thanking him for me, 
mention this circumstance. Waldegrave and Walpole are 
not arrived ; Scott's novels all safe. 

By the time you receive this letter, the Coronation l 
will be over, and you will be able to think of business. 
Long before this you ought to have received the MSS. of 
Sardanapalus. It was sent on the 2? Inst. By the way, 
you must permit me to choose my own seasons of pub- 
lication. All that you have a right to on such occasions 
is the mere matter of barter : if you think you are likely 
to lose by such or such a time of printing, you will have 
full allowance made for it, on statement. It is now two 
years nearly that MSS. of mine have been in your hands 

was called to the Bar in 1791, the first Roman Catholic admitted to 
the profession since 1688. As a real property lawyer, he held a 
high position, and had frequently advised on Byron's behalf. His 
Historical Memoirs respecting tlie English, Irish, and Scottish 
Catholics from the Reformation to the Present Time (4 vols.) was 
published in 1819-21. 

I. The Coronation of George IV. was originally fixed for August I, 
1820. But, owing to the proceedings against the Queen, the cere- 
mony did not take place till July 19, 1821. On the night before, 
the King slept at the Speaker's house. Seats to view the procession 
sold from one guinea to twenty guineas ; stages rose as high as 
the chimneys of adjoining houses ; and sight-seers began to be in 
their places by one o'clock in the morning. Westminster Abbey 
was opened at 4 a.m. The procession passed out of Westminster 
Hall at 10.25, headed by the King's herb-woman and her six 
maids, strewing the way with herbs. It proceeded along a raised 
platform from the north door of Westminster Hall to the west door 
of the Abbey, the King walking " in the Royal Robes, wearing a Cap 
"of Estate adorned with jewels, under a Canopy of Cloth of Gold 
" borne by sixteen Barons of the Cinque Ports." The service ended at 
four o'clock, the King looking " like one expiring when he returned 
"from the Abbey to the Hall" (Letters of Joseph Jekyll, p. 115). 
After the service in the Abbey the banquet, with its attendant cere- 
monies, was held in Westminster Hall. A brig of war, lying off 
Norfolk Street, Strand, " armed with guns of the heaviest calibre," 
fired the salutes. An air-balloon in the Green Park, a boat race in 
Hyde Park, fireworks, and illuminations in the street, provided 
amusements for the sight-seers. 

The enormous expenses of the Coronation, which was modelled on 
that of James II., caused an outcry in and out of Parliament. The 
new crown was said to have cost 54,coo, an d the robes ,24,000. 

1 82 1.] SUCCESS OR FAILURE? 313 

in statu quo. Whatever I may have thought (and, not 
being on the spot, nor having any exact means of ascer- 
taining the thermometer of success or failure, I have 
had no determinate opinion upon the subject), I have 
allowed you to go on in your own way, and acquiesced 
in all your arrangements hitherto. 

I pray you to forward the proofs of Sardanapalus as 
soon as you can, and let me know if it be deemed press- 
and print-worthy. I am quite ignorant how far the 
Doge did or did not succeed : your first letters seemed to 
say yes your last say nothing. My own immediate 
friends are naturally partial : one review (Blackwood's) 
speaks highly of it, 1 another pamphlet calls it " a failure." 
It is proper that you should apprize me of this, because 
I am in the third act of a third drama ; and if I have 
nothing to expect but coldness from the public and hesi- 
tation from yourself, it were better to break off in time. 
I had proposed to myself to go on, as far as my Mind 
would carry me, and I have thought of plenty of subjects. 
But if I am trying an impracticable experiment, it is 
better to say so at once. 

So Canning and Burdett have been quarrelling : 2 if I 

1. In Blackwood's Magazine for April, 1821 (pp. 93-103), the 
reviewer praises the play vigorously : " Without question, no such 
" tragedy as this of Marino Faliero has appeared in English since 
" the day when Otway also was inspired to his masterpiece by the 
" interests of a Venetian story and a Venetian conspiracy." On 
the other hand, the Literary Gazette for April 28, 1821, speaks of 
the play as "a drawling story, stagnating through five boggy acts, 
"with hardly here and there an ignis fatuus or Jack-o-Lanthern to 
"relieve the level and dismal monotony." 

2. On May 2, 1807, Burdett fought a duel with James Paull over 
the candidature for Westminster, and was wounded in the thigh. 
On September 21, 1809, Canning fought Lord Castlereagh, and was 
wounded in the thigh. But on the occasion to which Byron alludes, 
no duel took place. From the King's Bench prison, in the spring of 
1821, Burdett addressed a letter to a company of Reformers, who 
met at the City of London Tavern, April 4, to eat and drink in the 
cause of Parliamentary Reform. The letter contained the following 


mistake not, the last time of their single combats, each 
was shot in the thigh by his Antagonist; and their 
Correspondence might be headed thus, by any wicked 

wag : 

Brave Champions ! go on with the farce ! 

Reversing the spot where you bled ; 
Last time both were shot in the * ; 

Now (damn you) get knocked on the Jiead! 

I have not heard from you for some weeks ; but I can 
easily excuse the silence from it's occasion. 

Believe me, yours ever and truly, 


P.S. Do you or do you not mean to print the MSS. 
Cantos Pulci, etc. ? 

P.S. 2? To save you the bore of writing yourself, 
when you are " not i" the vein," make one of your Clerks 
send me a few lines to apprize me of arrivals, etc., of 
MSS., and matters of business. I shan't take it ill; 
and I know that a bookseller in large business must 

passage : " Gentlemen, that Mr. Canning I mention him as the 
"champion of the party apart for the whole should defend, to 
" the uttermost, a system, by the hocus pocus tricks of which he and 
' ' his family get so much public money, can cause neither me, nor 
" any man, surprise or anger ; 

" ' For 'tis their duty, all the learned think, 

To espouse that cause by which they eat and drink.' " 

As soon as Burdett was released from prison, and Canning re- 
turned from the Continent, the latter demanded (June 7, 1821) an 
explanation or satisfaction. Burdett, in reply (June 8, 1821) wrote, 
' The letter in question is now before me ; and I am at a loss for a 
' form of words in which I could have more guardedly marked the 
' disqualification under which I conceive yourself and others to be 
' from giving authority to your opinions on Parliamentary Reform, 
' and at the same time have avoided making any allusion whatever 
'to personal character" (The Courier, June 12, 1821). With this 
disclaimer Canning was satisfied. Lord \V. Bentinck acted for 
Canning, and Douglas Kinnaird for Burdett. 

1 82 1.] JOHN BULL'S LETTER. 315 

have his time too over-occupied to answer every body 

P.S. 3? -I have just read " John Bull's letter : " l it is 

I . Byron alludes to a Letter to the Right Hon. Lord Byron. By John 
Bull. The pamphlet (London, 1821, 8vo. 64 pp.). which was not 
by Peacock (see p. 317, note l), was published by William Wright, 
and the second page contains this announcement : " The Following 
" Letter is the First of a Series to be continued occasionally. The 
" Second Letter is addressed to Mr. Thomas Campbell. The Third 
"is to His Majesty the King. And the Fourth is also to Lord 
"Byron." No copy is catalogued in the British Museum, but 
one is to be found in the Bodleian Library. The pamphlet is 
reviewed in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, vol. ix. 

The pamphleteer agrees with Byron that " cant," or, as he prefers 

to call it, "humbug," is the primum mobile of the present age, and 

thinks that Byron, himself the prince of humbugs, is in nothing a 

greater humbug than in his affectation of saying that he is not "a 

"great poet." The whole of Byron's misanthropy, again, is, he 

says, humbug. " You thought it would be a fine interesting thing 

"for a handsome young Lord to depict himself as a dark-souled, 

" melancholy, morbid being, and you have done so, it must be 

" admitted, with exceeding cleverness. In spite of all your pranks 

" (Beppo, etc., Don Juan included), every boarding-school in the 

' Empire still contains many devout believers in the amazing misery 

'of the black-haired, high-browed, blue-eyed, bare-throated Lord 

' Byron. How melancholy you look in the prints ! " " Stick to 

' Don Juan," he continues : "it is the only sincere thing you have 

' ever written ; and it will live many years after all your humbug 

' Harolds have ceased to be, in your own words, ' a schoolgirl's tale 

' the wonder of an hour.' " The pamphleteer compares Don 

Juan and Whistlecraft : "Mr. Frere writes elegantly, playfully, 

' very like a gentleman, and a scholar, and a respectable man, and 

1 his poems never sold, nor ever will sell. Your Don Juan, again, 

' is written strongly, lasciviously, fiercely, laughingly everybody 

' sees in a moment that nobody could have written it but a man of 

' the first order, both in genius and dissipation ; a real master of 

' all his tools a profligate, pernicious, irresistible, charming Devil 

' and, accordingly, the Don sells, and will sell to the end of time, 

' whether our good friend Mr. John Murray honours it with his 

' imprimatur, or doth not so honour it. ... I had really no idea 

' what a very clever fellow you were till I read Don Juan. In my 

' humble opinion, there is very little in the literature of the present 

' day that will really stand the test of half a century, except the 

1 Scotch novels of Sir Walter Scott and Don Juan." He advises 

Scott to stick to Scotland, and Byron to write in the key of Don 

Juan on England of the day. " There is nobody but yourself who 

"has any chance of conveying to posterity a true idea of the spirit 

" of England in the days of His Majesty George IV." He concludes 


diabolically well written, and full of fun and ferocity. I 
must forgive the dog, whoever he is. I suspect three 

with criticizing Byron's conduct at the time of his divorce, con- 
demning it as an unsuccessful part of his humbug. "If," he says, 
' I were to permit myself to hazard an opinion on a matter, with 
' which, I confess, I have so very little to do, I should certainly 
' say that I think it quite possible you were in the right in the 
'quarrel with Lady Byron, nay, that I think the odds are very 
' decidedly in favour of your having been so ; and that was the 
' opinion, I remember it very well, of by far the shrewdest person 
' of my acquaintance (I need not say woman), at the time when the 
'story happened. But this is nothing. The world had nothing 
' whatever to do with a quarrel between you and Lady Byron, and 
' you were the last man that should have set about persuading the 
' world that the world had or could have anything to do with such 
' a quarrel. What does a respectable English nobleman or gentle- 
' man commonly do, when his wife and he become so disagreeable 
' to each other that they must separate ? Why did you not ask of 
' yourself that plain question, the morning you found you and Lady 
' Byron could not get on together any longer ? I wish you had 
' done so, and acted upon it, from my soul : for I think the whole 
' of what you did on that unhappy occasion was in the very worst 
' possible taste, and that it is a great shame you have never been 
' told so in print I mean in a plain, sensible, anti-humbug manner 
' from that day to this. What did the world care whether you 
" quarrelled with your wife or not? at least, what business had you 
1 to suppose that the world cared a single farthing about any such 
' affair ? It is surely a very good thing to be a clever poet : but 
' it is a much more essential thing to be a gentleman ; and why, 
' then, did you, who are both a gentleman and a nobleman, act 
' upon this, the most delicate occasion, in all probability, your life 
" was ever to present, as if you had been neither a nobleman nor a 
' gentleman, but some mere overweeningly conceited poet ? To 
' quarrel with your wife overnight, and communicate all your 
' quarrel to the public the next morning, in a sentimental copy of 
' verses ! To affect utter broken-heartedness, and yet be snatching 
' the happy occasion to make another good bargain with Mr. John 
' Murray ! To solicit the compassion of your private friends for a 
'most lugubrious calamity, and to solicit the consolation of the 
' public, in the shape of five shillings sterling per head or, perhaps, 
' I should rather say, per bottom ! To pretend dismay and despair, 
' and get up for the nonce a clear pamphlet ! O, my Lord, I have 
' heard of mean fellows making money of their wives (more particu- 
larly in the army of a certain noble duke), but I never heard even 
" of a commissary seeking to make money of his wife in a meaner 
"manner than this of yours ! And then consider, for a moment, 
' ' what beastliness it was of you to introduce her Ladyship in Don 
" yuan indeed, if I be not much mistaken, you have said things 
' ' in that part of the poem for which, were I her brother, I should 

1 82 1.] THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK. 317 

people : one is Hobhouse, the other Mr. Peacock l (a very 
clever fellow), and lastly Israeli ; there are parts very like 
Israeli, and he has a present grudge with Bowles and 
Southey, etc. There is something too of the author of 
the Sketch-book 2 in the Style. Find him out. 

The packet or letter addressed under cov* to Mr. H. 
has never arrived, and never will. You should address 
directly to me here^ and by the post. 

" be very well entitled to pull your nose, which (don't alarm 
' ' yourself) I have not at present the smallest inclination or intention 
"to do," etc., etc. 

1. Thomas Love Peacock (1785-1866), poet, novelist, friend and 
at one time pensioner of Shelley, had, in 1819, obtained an appoint- 
ment in the East India House. He had already satirized Byron, 
without the good humour with which, in other instances, his powers 
were relieved. In Nightmare Abbey (1818) Byron appears as 
"Mr. Cypress;" and in the same novel Jane Clairmont probably 
appears, though the lover of "Stella" is not "Cypress," but 
" Scythrop." Peacock had also dedicated to Byron his Sir Proteus 
(see Letters, vol. iii. p. 89, note 2), if, indeed, he was really the 
author of that very inferior poem. Byron told Shelley his suspicions 
about the pamphlet. Writing to Peacock from Ravenna, in August, 
1821, Shelley says (Prose Works of Shelley, ed. H. Buxton Forman, 
vol. iv. p. 222), " Lord B. thinks you wrote a pamphlet signed John 

' Bull ; he says he knew it by the style resembling Melincourt, of 
' which he is a great admirer." Melincourt was published in 1817. 
To the quoted passage Peacock adds the following note : " Most 
' probably Shelley's partiality for me and my book put too favour- 
' able a construction on what Lord Byron may have said. Lord 
' Byron told Captain Medwin that a friend of Shelley's had written 
' a novel, of which he had forgotten the name, founded on his bear. 
' He described it sufficiently to identify it, and Captain Medwin 
' supplied the title in a note : but assuredly, when I condensed Lord 
' Monboddo's views of the humanity of the Oran Outang into the 
' character of Sir Oran Haul-ton, I thought neither of Lord Byron's 
' bear nor of Caligula's horse. But Lord Byron was much in the 
' habit of fancying that all the world was spinning on his pivot. 
' As to the pamphlet signed 'John Bull,' I certainly did not write it. 
' I never even saw it, and do not know what it was about." Byron 

may have liked Melincourt for the vigorous fashion in which Peacock 

assails Southey in that novel. 

2. Washington Irving. 


907. To Thomas Moore. 

Ravenna, July 5, 1821. 

How could you suppose that I ever would allow any 
thing that could be said on your account to weigh with 
mel I only regret that Bowles had not said that you 
were the writer of that note, until afterwards, when out 
he comes with it, in a private letter to Murray, which 
Murray sends to me. D n the controversy ! 

" D n Twizzle, 
D n the bell, 

And d n the fool who rung it Well ! 
From all such plagues I'll quickly be delivered." ' 

I have had a friend of your Mr. Irving's a very 
pretty lad a Mr. Coolidge, 2 of Boston only somewhat 
too full of poesy and " entusymusy." I was very civil to 
him during his few hours' stay, and talked with him much 
of Irving, whose writings are my delight. But I suspect 
that he did not take quite so much to me, from his having 
expected to meet a misanthropical gentleman, in wolf- 
skin breeches, and answering in fierce monosyllables, 
instead of a man of this world. I can never get people 
to understand that poetry is the expression of excited 
passion, and that there is no such thing as a life of passion 
any more than a continuous earthquake, or an eternal 
fever. Besides, who would ever shave themselves in such 
a state ? 

I have had a curious letter to-day from a girl in 

1. Byron quotes from "The Elder Brother" in Broad Grins, by 
George Colman the Younger (1811) 

" Which Shove repeated warmly, tho' he shiver'd : 
' Damn Twizzle's house ! and damn the Bell ! 
And damn the fool who rang it ! Well, 
From all such plagues I'll quickly be delivered.' " 

2. See Detached Thoughts, p. 421, (25). 


England (I never saw her), who says she is given over 
of a decline, but could not go out of the world without 
thanking me for the delight which my poesy for several 
years, etc., etc., etc. It is signed simply N. N. A. and has 
not a word of "cant" or preachment in it upon any 
opinions. She merely says that she is dying, and that as 
I had contributed so highly to her existing pleasure, 
she thought that she might say so, begging me to burn 
her letter which, by the way, I can not do, as I look 
upon such a letter in -such circumstances as better than 
a diploma from Gottingen. I once had a letter from 
Drontheim in Norway 1 (but not from a dying woman), 
in verse, on the same score of gratulation. These are 
the things which make one at times believe one's self a 
poet. But if I must believe that * * * * *, and such 
fellows, are poets also, it is better to be out of the corps. 
I am now in the fifth act of Foscari, being the third 
tragedy in twelve months, besides proses ; so you perceive 
that I am not at all idle. And are you, too, busy ? I 
doubt that your life at Paris draws too much upon your 
time, which is a pity. Can't you divide your day, so as 
to combine both? I have had plenty of all sorts of 
worldly business on my hands last year, and yet it is not 
so difficult to give a few hours to the Muses. This 

sentence is so like * * * * that 

Ever, etc. 

If we were together, I should publish both my plays 
(periodically) in our joint journal. It should be our plan 
to publish all our best things in that way. 

I. See Detached Thoughts, p. 425, (34). 


908. To John Murray. 

R July 6'* 1821. 

DEAR SIR, In agreement with a wish expressed by 
Mr. Hobhouse, it is my determination to omit the Stanza 
upon the horse of Semiramis in the fifth Canto of Don 
Juan. 1 I mention this in case you are, or intend to be, 
the publisher of the remaining Cantos. 

By yesterday's post, I ought in point of time, to have 
had an acknowledgement of the arrival of the MSS. of 
Sardanapahis. If it has arrived, and you have delayed 
the few lines necessary for this, I can only say that you 
are keeping two people in hot water the postmaster 
here, because the packet was insured, and myself, because 
I had but that one copy. 

I am in the fifth act of a play on the subject of the 
Foscaris, father and son : Foscolo can tell you their 


I am, yours, etc., 

P.S. At the particular request of the Contessa G. I 
have promised not to continue Don Juan,' 2 ' You will 

1. Don yuan, Canto V. stanzas lx., Ixi. 

2. The following is the note from the Countess Guiccioli : 
"CuoR MIO, Che fai del tuo dolore? Fammelo sapere per 

1 Lega, perche mi da molta pena. Papa e Pierino sono partiti die 
' sara un'ora, e non torneranno che Lunedl. 

" Ricordati, mio Byron, della promessa che m'hai fatta. Non 
' potrei mai dirti la soddisfazione ch'io ne provo ! Sono tanti i 
' sentimenti di piacere e di confidenza che il tuo sacrificio m'inspira ! 
' Perche mai le parole esprimano cosl poco quello che passa dentro 
' del 1'anima ! Se tu potessi vedere pienamente lo stato della mia 
' da jersera in qua sono certa che saresti in qualche modo ricompen- 
' sato del tuo sacrificio ! 

" Ti bacio, mio Byron, 1000 volte, 

" La tua amantissima in eterno, 


" P.S. Mi reveresce solo D. Giovanni non resti all' Inferno." 


therefore look upon these 3 cantos as the last of that poem. 
She had read the two first in the French translation, and 
never ceased beseeching me to write no more of it. The 
reason of this is not at first obvious to a superficial 
observer of FOREIGN manners; but it arises from the 
wish of all women to exalt the sentiment of the passions, 
and to keep up the illusion which is their empire. Now 
Don Juan strips off this illusion, and laughs at that and 
most other things. I never knew a woman who did not 
protect Rousseau, nor one who did not dislike de Gram- 
mont, Gil Bias, and all the comedy of the passions, when 
brought out naturally. But "King's blood must keep 
" word," as Serjeant Bothwell says. 1 

Write, you Scamp ! 

Your parcel of extracts never came and never will : 
you should have sent it by the post ; but you are growing 
a sad fellow, and some fine day we shall have to dissolve 

Send some Soda powders. 

909. To John Murray. 

R a . July 7 t . h 1821. 

DEAR SIR, Enclosed are two letters from two of 
your professional brethren. By one of them you will per- 
ceive that, if you are disposed to " buy justice" it is to be 
sold (no doubt as " Stationary ") at his Shop. 

Thank him in my name for his good will, however, 

On the back of the note Byron has written as follows : 

"July 4*!' 1821. 

"This is the note of acknowledgment for the promise not to 
" continue D. J. She says in the P.S. that she is only sorry that 
" D. J. does not remain in Hell, (or go there). The dolore in the 
" first sentence refers merely to a bilious attack which I had some 
" days ago, and of which I got better." 

I. Old Mortality, chap. vi. 

VOL. V. Y 


and good offices ; and say that I can't afford to " purchase 
" justice," as it is by far the dearest article in these very 
dear times. 

Yours ever, 

910. To John Murray. 

R? July 9'!' 1821. 

DEAR SIR, The enclosed packet came quite open, so 
I suppose it is no breach of confidence to send it back 
to you, who must have seen it before. Return it to the 
Address, explaining in what state I received it. 

What is all this about Mitylem 1 (where I never was 
in my life), " Manuscript Criticism on the Manchester 
" business " (which I never wrote), " Day and Martin's 
"patent blacking," and a "young lady who offered, etc.," 
of whom I never heard. Are the people mad, or merely 
drunken ? 

I have at length received your packet, and have 
nearly completed the tragedy on the Foscaris. 

Believe me, yours very truly, 


911. To John Murray. 

July 14*, 1821. 

DEAR SIR, According to your wish, I have expedited 
by this post two packets addressed to J. Barrow, Esq r ?, 
Admiralty, etc. The one contains the returned proofs, 
with such corrections as time permits, of Sardanapahis . 
The other contains the tragedy of The Two Foscari in 

I. Probably a revival of the "Extract of a Letter, containing 
" an account of Lord Byron's residence in the Island of Mitylene," 
\vhich was printed with The Vampyre, a Tale (1819). 

l82I.] THE TWO FOSCARl. 323 

five acts, the argument of which Foscolo or Hobhouse 
can explain to you ; or you will find it at length in P. 
Daru's history of Venice : also, more briefly, in Sismondi's 
/. jR. An outline of it is in the Pleasures of Memory 1 
also. The name is a dactyl, " Foscari." Have the 
goodness to write by return of Post, which is essential. 

I trust that Sardanapalus will not be mistaken for a 
political play, which was so far from my intention, that I 
thought of nothing but Asiatic history. The Venetian 
play, too, is rigidly historical. My object has been to 
dramatize, like the Greeks (a modest phrase !), striking 
passages of history, as they did of history and mythology. 
You will find all this very /zlike Shakespeare ; and so 
much the better in one sense, for I look upon him to be 
the worst of models, though the most extraordinary of 
writers. It has been my object to be as simple and 
severe as Alfieri, and I have broken down the poetry as 
nearly as I could to common language. The hardship is, 
that in these times one can neither speak of kings nor 
Queens without suspicion of politics or personalities. I 
intended neither. 

I am not very well, and I write in the midst of un- 
pleasant scenes here : they have, without trial or process, 

I. " Thus kindred objects kindred thoughts inspire, 
As summer-clouds flash forth electric fire. 
And hence this spot gives back the joys of youth, 
Warm as the life, and with the mirror's truth. 

For this young Foscari, whose hapless fate 
Venice should blush to hear the Muse relate, 
When exile wore his blooming years away, 
To sorrow's long soliloquies a prey, 
When reason, justice, vainly urged his cause, 
For this he roused her sanguinary laws ; 
Glad to return, tho' Hope could grant no more, 
And chains and torture hailed him to the shore." 
See also Rogers' Italy. The story of the Foscari, as told in that 

poem, was published in 1821. Byron's Two Foscari appeared with 

Cain and Sardanapalus in December, 1821. 


banished several of the first inhabitants of the cities 
here and all around the Roman States amongst them 
many of my personal friends, so that every thing is in 
confusion and grief : it is a kind of thing which cannot 
be described without an equal pain as in beholding it. 
You are very niggardly in your letters. 

Yours truly, 


P.S. In the first soliloquy of Salemenes, read 
" at once his Chorus and his Council ; " 

" Chorus " being in the higher dramatic sense, meaning 
his accompaniment, and not a mere musical train. 

912. To John Murray. 

R a . July 22<! 1821. 

DEAR MURRAY, By this post is expedited a parcel 
of notes, addressed to J. Barrow, Esq r ?, etc. Also, by 
y? former post, the returned proofs of S\ardanapalus\ 
and the MSS. of the Two Foscaris. Acknowledge 

The printer has done wonders ; he has read what I 
cannot my own handwriting. 

I oppose the " delay till Winter : " I am particularly 
anxious to print while the Winter tJieatres are dosed, to 
gain time, in case they try their former piece of politeness. 
Any loss shall be considered in our contract, whether 
occasioned by the season or other causes ; but print away, 
and publish. 

I think they must own that I have more styles than 
one. " Sardanapalus " is, however, almost a comic cha- 
racter : but, for that matter, so is Richard the third. 
Mind the Unities^ which are my great object of research. 

1 82 1.] ENGLISH BASENESS. 325 

I am glad that Gifford likes it : as for " the Million," you 
see I have carefully consulted anything but the taste of 
the day for extravagant coups de theatre. Any probable 
loss, as I said before, will be allowed for in our accompts. 
The reviews (except one or two Blackwood's, for in- 
stance) are cold enough ; but never mind those fellows : 
I shall send them to the right about, if I take it into my 
head. Perhaps that in the Monthly * is written by Hodgson, 
as a reward for having paid his debts, and travelled all 
night to beg his mother-in-law (by his own desire) to let 
him marry her daughter ; though I had never seen her in 
my life, it succeeded. But such are mankind, and I have 
always found the English baser in some things than any 
other nation. You stare, but it's true as to gratitude, 
perhaps, because they are prouder, and proud people 
hate obligations. 

The tyranny of the government here is breaking out : 
they have exiled about a thousand people of the best 
families all over the Roman States. As many of my 
friends are amongst them, I think of moving too, but not 
till I have had your answers. Continue your address to 
me here, as usual, and quickly. What you will not be 

I. The Monthly Review for May, 1821 (pp. 41-50), reviews 
Marino Faliero. The critic, after saying that the tragedy is " con- 
' structed on the French model, and therefore more properly to be 
'styled a poem than a play," continues thus: "We are sorry to 
' give our opinion that this piece manifests the faults without the 
' beauties of its model. It has the nakedness of plot, the uniformity 
' of character, the tedious declamation, and the lengthened mono- 
' logue, which belong to its archetype ; unredeemed by that judi- 
' cious choice of fable, that heroic elevation of sentiment, and 
' those moving conflicts of passion, which characterize the French 
< school." 

The Monthly Magazine for July, 1821, on the other hand, speaks 
of the play as a "work worthy of the genius of its author. It has 
' realized all the anticipations to which his previous efforts could 
'fairly give rise." The final scene is characterized as one of 
'stormy majesty," and the whole play as "a powerful and noble 
'work, built for fame and futurity." 


sorry to hear is, that the poor of the place, hearing that I 
meant to go, got together a petition to the Cardinal to 
request that he would request me to remain. I only heard 
of it a day or two ago, and it is no dishonour to them nor 
to me; but it will have displeased the higher powers, 
who look upon me as a Chief of the Coalheavers. They 
arrested a servant of mine for a Street quarrel with 
an Officer (they drew upon one another knives and 
pistols) ; but as the Officer was out of uniform, and in the 
wrong besides, on my protesting stoutly, he was released. 
I was not present at the affray, which happened by night 
near my stables. My man (an Italian), a very stout and not 
over patient personage, would have taken a fatal revenge 
afterwards, if I had not prevented him. As it was, he 
drew his stiletto, and, but for passengers, would have 
carbonadoed the Captain, who (I understand) made but 
a poor figure in the quarrel, except by beginning it. He 
applied to me, and I offered him any satisfaction, either 
by turning away the man, or otherwise, because he had 
drawn a knife. He answered that a reproof would be 
sufficient. I reproved him ; and yet, after this, the shabby 
dog complained to the Government^ after being quite 
satisfied, as he said. This roused me, and I gave them 
a remonstrance which had some effect. If he had not 
enough, he should have called me out ; but that is not 
the Italian line of conduct : the Captain has been repri- 
manded, the servant released, and the business at present 
rests there. 

Write and let me know of the arrivals. 


P.S. You will of course publish the two tragedies 
of Sardanapalus and the Foscaris together. You can 


aftenvards collect them with Manfred, and TJi Doge into 
the works. Inclosed is an additional note. 

913. To Richard Belgrave Hoppner. 

Ravenna, July 23, 1821. 

This country being in a state of proscription, and all 
my friends exiled or arrested the whole family of Gamba 
obliged to go to Florence for the present the father and 
son for politics (and the Guiccioli, because menaced 
with a con-vent, as her father is not here,) I have deter- 
mined to remove to Switzerland, and they also. Indeed, 
my life here is not supposed to be particularly safe but 
that has been the case for this twelvemonth past, and is 
therefore not the primary consideration. 

I have written by this post to Mr. Hentsch, junior, 
the banker of Geneva, to provide (if possible) a house 
for me, and another for Gamba's family, (the father, son, 
and daughter,) on the Jura side of the lake of Geneva, 
furnished, and with stabling (for me at least) for eight 
horses. I shall bring Allegra with me. Could you assist 
me or Hentsch in his researches ? The Gambas are at 
Florence, but have authorised me to treat for them. 
You know, or do not know, that they are great patriots 
and both but the son in particular very fine fellows. 
This I know, for I have seen them lately in very awkward 
situations not pecuniary, but personal and they behaved 
like heroes, neither yielding nor retracting. 

You have no idea what a state of oppression this 
country is in they arrested above a thousand of high 
and low throughout Romagna banished some and con- 
fined others, without trial, process, or even accusation 1 1 
Every body says they would have done the same by me 
if they dared proceed openly. My motive, however, for 


remaining, is because every one of my acquaintance, 1 to 
the amount of hundreds almost, have been exiled. 

Will you do what you can in looking out for a couple 
of houses furnished, and conferring with Hentsch for us? 
We care nothing about society, and are only anxious for 
a temporary and tranquil asylum and individual freedom. 

Believe me, etc. 

P.S. Can you give me an idea of the comparative 

I. Countess Guiccioli, as quoted by Moore (Life, p. 519), thus 
explains Byron's stay at Ravenna after the banishment of his 

" Lord Byron restava frattanto a Ravenna in un paese sconvolso 
"dai partiti, e dove aveva certamente dei nemici di opinioni fanatici 
"e perfidi, e la mia immaginazione me lo dipingeva circondato 
"sempre da mille pericoli. Si puo dunque pensare cosa dovesse 
" essere qual viaggio per me e cosa io dovessi soffrire nella sua lonta- 
"nanza. Le sue lettere avrebbero potuto essermi di conforto ; ma 
" quando io le riceveva era gia trascorso lo spazio di due giorni dal 
"momento in cui furono scritte, e questo pensiero distruggeva tutto 
" il bene che esse potevano farmi, e la mia anima era lacerata dai 
"piu crudeli timori. 

" Frattanto era necessario per la di lui convenienza che egli 
" restasse ancora qualche tempo in Ravenna affinche non avesse a 
"dirsi che egli pure ne era esigliato ; ed oltrecio egli si era somma- 
"mente affezionato a qual soggiorno e voleva innanzi di partire 
" vedere esausiti tutti i tentativi e tutte le speranze del ritorno dei 
"miei parenti." 

Moore gives the following version of the Italian : " Lord Byron, 

" in the mean time, remained at Ravenna, in a town convulsed by 

"party spirit, where he had certainly, on account of his opinions, 

" many fanatical and perfidious enemies ; and my imagination 

"always painted him surrounded by a thousand dangers. It may 

" be conceived, therefore, what that journey must have been to me, 

"and what I suffered at such a distance from him. His letters 

" would have given me comfort ; but two days always elapsed 

"between his writing and my receiving them; and this idea em- 

"bittered all the solace they would otherwise have afforded me, so 

"that my heart was torn by the most cruel fears. Yet it was 

' ' necessary for his own sake that he should remain some time longer 

'at Ravenna, in order that it might not be said that he also was 

' banished. Besides, he had conceived a very great affection for 

' the place itself; and was desirous, before he left it, of exhausting 

' every means and hope of procuring the recall of my relations 

' from banishment." 


expenses of Switzerland and Italy? which I have for- 
gotten. I speak merely of those of decent living, horses, 
etc., and not of luxuries or high living. Do not, however, 
decide any thing positively till I have your answer, as I 
can then know how to think upon these topics of trans- 
migration, etc., etc., etc. 

914. To John Murray. 

R* July 30'!* 1821. 

DEAR SIR, Enclosed is the best account of the Doge 
Faliero, which was only sent to me from an old MSS. the 
other day. Get it translated, and append it as a note to 
the next edition. You will perhaps be pleased to see 
that my conceptions of his character were correct, though 
I regret not having met with this extract before. You 
will perceive that he himself said exactly what he is 
made to say, about the Bishop of Treviso. 1 You will 
see also that he spoke very little, and those only words 
" of rage and disdain," z after his arrest, which is the 
case in the play, except when he breaks out at the close 
of Act fifth. But his speech to the Conspirators is 
better in the MSS. than in the play : I wish that I had 
met with it in time. Do not forget this note, with a 

1. Marino Faliero, act i. sc. 2 

" Doge (solus) . . . but the priests I doubt the priesthood 
Will not be with us ; they have hated me 
Since that rash hour, when, maddened with the drone, 
I smote the tardy Bishop at Treviso, 
Quickening his holy march." 

2. Byron possibly alludes to Christabel 

" And thus it chanced, as I divine, 
With Roland and Sir Leoline. 
Each spake words of high disdain 
And insult to his heart's best brother." 


In a former note to the Juans, speaking of Voltaire, 
I have quoted his famous " Zaire, tu pleures," which is 
an error; it should be "Zaire, vous pkiirez :" 1 recollect 
this ; and recollect also that your want of recollection has 
permitted you to publish the note on the Kelso traveller, 
which I had positively desired you not, for proof of which 
I refer you to my letters. I presume that you are able 
to lay your hand upon these letters,, as you are accused 
publicly, in a pamphlet, of showing them about. 

I wait your acknowledgement of the packets con- 
taining The FoscariS) notes, etc., etc. : now your 
Coronation is over, perhaps you will find time. I have 
also written to Mr. Kinnaird, to say that I expect the two 
tragedies to be published speedily, and to inform him 
that I am willing to make any abatement, on your state- 
ment of loss liable to be incurred by publishing at an 
improper season. 

I am so busy here about these poor proscribed exiles, 2 
who are scattered about, and with trying to get some of 
them recalled, that I have hardly time or patience to 
write a short preface, which will be proper for the two 
plays. However, I will make it out, on receiving the 
next proofs. 

Yours ever and truly, 

P.S. Please to append the letter about the Hellespont 
as a note to your next opportunity of the verses on 
Leander, etc., etc., etc., in Childe Harold. Don't forget 
it amidst your multitudinous avocations, which I think of 
celebrating in a dithyrambic ode to Albemarle Street. 

1. Zaire, acte iv. sc. 2. See the conclusion of Byron's corrections 
of Bacon's Apophthegms, Appendix VI. 

2. See letter to the Duchess of Devonshire, p. 237. 


Are you aware that Shelley has written an elegy on 
Keats, and accuses the Quarterly of killing him ? 

"Who killed John Keats? 

" I," says the Quarterly, 

So savage and Tartarly ; 
" Twas one of my feats." 

" Who shot the arrow ? " 

" The poet-priest Milman 
(So ready to kill man), 
Or Southey or Barrow." 

You know very well that I did not approve of Keats's 
poetry, or principles of poetry, or of his abuse of Pope ; 
but, as he is dead, omit all that is said about him in any 
MSS. of mine, or publication. His Hyperion * is a fine 
monument, and will keep his name. I do not envy the man 
who wrote the article : your review people have no more 
right to kill than any other foot pads. However, he who 
would die of an article 2 in a review would probably have 
died of something else equally trivial. The same thing 
nearly happened to Kirke White, 3 who afterwards died of 
a consumption. 

1. Yet when Medwin urged Hyperion as a proof of Keats's poetical 
genius {Conversations, p. 360), Byron replied, " 'Hyperion ! ' why, 
" a man might as well pretend to be rich who had one diamond. 
" ' Hyperion ' indeed ! ' Hyperion' to a satyr." 

2. " John Keats, who was killed off by one critique, 

Just as he really promised something great, 
If not intelligible, without Greek 

Contrived to talk about the gods of late, 
Much as they might have been supposed to speak. 

Poor fellow ! His was an untoward fate ; 
'Tis strange the mind, that very fiery particle, 
Should let itself be snufPd out by an article." 

Don Juan, Canto XI. stanza Ix. 

3. See Poems, ed. 1898, vol. i. p. 363, English Bards, and Scotch 
Reviewers, lines 831-848. 


915. To Thomas Moore. 

Ravenna, Augusta, 1821. 

I had certainly answered your last letter, though but 
briefly, to the part to which you refer merely saying, 
"damn the controversy;" and quoting some verses of 
George Colman's, not as allusive to you, but to the dis- 
putants. Did you receive this letter ? It imports me to 
know that our letters are not intercepted or mislaid. 

Your Berlin drama 1 is an honour, unknown since the 
days of Elkanah Settle, whose Empress of Morocco was 
represented by the Court ladies, which was, as Johnson 
says, " the last blast of inflammation " to poor Dryden, 
who could not bear it, and fell foul of Settle without 
mercy or moderation, on account of that and a frontis- 
piece, which he dared to put before his play. 2 

Was not your showing the Memoranda to * * 3 

1. "There had been, a short time before, performed at the court 
' of Berlin a spectacle founded on the poem of Lalla Rookh, in 
' which the present Emperor of Russia personated ' Feramorz,' and 
'the Empress, 'Lalla Rookh'" (Moore) i.e. Nicholas I. (1796- 

1855) and his wife, the Princess Charlotte of Prussia. 

2. " Rochester had interest enough to have Settle's Empress of 
' Morocco first acted at Whitehall by the lords and ladies of the 
' court ; an honour which had never been paid to any of Dryden's 
' compositions, however more justly entitled to it, both from 
' intrinsic merit, and by the author's situation as poet laureat. 
' Rochester contributed a prologue upon this brilliant occasion, to 
' add still more grace to Settle's triumph." Sir Walter Scott, Prose 
Works, ed. 1834, vol. i. pp. 158, 159. 

3. Moore, as was reported to Byron, had lent the " Memoranda " 
to Lady Davy. Possibly her name may be represented by asterisks. 
But it is more probably Lady Holland. Moore, in his Diary for 
July 6, 1821 (Memoirs, etc., vol. iii. p. 251), notes, "By the bye, I 

' yesterday gave Lady Holland Lord Byron's ' Memoirs ' to read ; 
' and on my telling her that I rather feared he had mentioned her 
' name in an unfair manner somewhere, she said, ' Such things give 
' me no uneasiness ; I know perfectly well my station in the world : 
' and I know all that can be said of me. As long as the few friends 
' that I really am sure of speak kindly of me (and I would not 
' believe the contrary if I saw it in black and white), all that the 
' rest of the world can say is a matter of complete indifference to 

1 82 1.] SCHLEGEL ON BYRON. 333 

somewhat perilous ? Is there not a facetious allusion or 
two which might as well be reserved for posterity ? 

I know Schlegel well that is to say, I have met him 
occasionally at Copet. Is he not also touched lightly in 
the Memoranda ? In a review of Childe Harold^ Canto 
4th, three years ago, in Blackwood's Magazine, they 
quote some stanzas of an elegy of Schlegel's on Rome, 
from which they say that I might have taken some ideas. 1 
I give you my honour that I never saw it except in that 
criticism, which gives, I think, three or four stanzas, sent 

"me." Byron told Medwin that Lady Burghersh, to whom the 
Memoir was lent, made a copy of it, which Moore obliged her to 

I. Moore, who met Schlegel at Paris, May 21, 1821, notes in his 
Diary for that day {Memoirs, etc., vol. iii. p. 235), " Had much talk 
" with Schlegel in the evening, who appears to me full of literary 
" coxcombry ; ... is evidently not well inclined towards Lord 
" Byron ; thinks he will outlive himself, and get out of date long 
" before he dies. Asked me if I thought a regular critique of all 
" Lord B.'s works, and the system on which they are written, would 
" succeed in England, and seems inclined to undertake it." Moore 
probably reported the substance of this conversation to Byron. 

The following is the passage in Blackwood's Edinburgh. Magazine 
(vol. iii. p. 222, note) : " We had lately sent to us a translation of an 
' Elegy by William Augustus Schlegel, from which our corre- 
' spondent supposes that Lord Byron has borrowed not a little of 
' the spirit, and even of the expressions, of the Fourth Canto. We 
' cannot, we must confess, observe any thing more than such coinci- 
'idences as might very well be expected from two great poets 
' contemplating the same scene. The opening of the German poem 
' appears to us to be very striking ; but the whole is pitched in an 
' elegiac key. Lord Byron handles the same topics with the deeper 
' power of a tragedian 

" ' Trust not the smiling welcome Rome can give, 

With her green fields, and her unspotted sky ; 
Parthenope hath taught thee how to live, 

Let Rome, imperial Rome, now teach to die. 
"T is true, the land is fair as land may be ; 

One radiant canopy of azure lies 
O'er the Seven Hills far downward to the sea, 

And upward where yon Sabine heights arise ; 
Yet sorrowful and sad, I wend my way 

Through this long ruined labyrinth, alone 
Each echo whispers of the elder day, 

I see a monument in every stone." 


tfiem (they say) for the nonce by a correspondent per- 
haps himself. The fact is easily proved ; for I don't 
understand German, and there was, I believe, no transla- 
tion at least, it was the first time that I ever heard of, 
or saw, either translation or original. 

I remember having some talk with Schlegel about 
Alfieri, whose merit he denies. He was also wroth 
about the Edinburgh Review of Goethe, which was 
sharp enough, to be sure. He went about saying, 
too, of the French "I meditate a terrible vengeance 
"against the French I will prove that Moliere is no 
"poet." 1 * * 

I don't see why you should talk of "declining." 
When I saw you, you looked thinner, and yet younger, 
than you did when we parted several years before. You 
may rely upon this as fact. If it were not, I should say 
nothing^ for I would rather not say unpleasant personal 
things to any one but, as it was the pleasant truth, I tell 
it you. If you had led my life, indeed, changing climates 
and connections thinning yourself with fasting and 
purgatives besides the wear and tear of the vulture 
passions, and a very bad temper besides, you might talk 
in this way but yott! I know no man who looks so 
well for his years, or who deserves to look better and 

I. Schlegel had already attempted to execute his threat. In his 

Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature (translated by John Black, 

2 vols., 8vo, London, 1815 ; vol. ii. pp. 40, 41) occurs the following 

passage on Moliere : " Born and educated in an inferior rank, he 

' enjoyed the advantage of becoming acquainted with the modes of 

' living of the industrious part of the community from his own 

' experience, and of acquiring the talent of imitating low modes of 

' expression. . . . He was an actor, and it would appear of peculiar 

' strength in overcharged and farcical comic parts ; so little was he 

' prepossessed with prejudices of personal dignity that he ... was 

' ever ready to deal out or to receive the blows which were then so 

' frequent on the stage. . . . Louis XIV. . . . was very well con- 

' tented with the buffoon whom he protected, and even exhibited 

'his own elevated person occasionally in dances in his ballets." 


to be better, in all respects. You are a * * *, and, 
what is perhaps better for your friends, a good fellow. 
So don't talk of decay, but put in for eighty, as you well 

I am, at present, occupied principally about these 
unhappy proscriptions and exiles, which have taken place 
here on account of politics. 1 It has been a miserable 
sight to see the general desolation in families. I am 
doing what I can for them, high and low, by such 
interest and means as I possess or can bring to bear. 
There have been thousands of these proscriptions within 
the last month in the Exarchate, or (to speak modernly) 
the Legations. Yesterday, too, a man got his back 
broken, in extricating a dog of mine from under a mill- 
wheel. The dog was killed, and the man is in the 
greatest danger. 2 I was not present it happened before 
I was up, owing to a stupid boy taking the dog to bathe 
in a dangerous spot. I must, of course, provide for the 
poor fellow while he lives, and his family, if he dies. I 
would gladly have given a much greater sum than that 

1. One of the chief reasons for the exile of the Gambas was the 
hope that Byron would accompany them. Madame Guiccioli says 
(Moore's Life, p. 518), "Una delle principal! ragioni per cui si 

' erano esigliati i miei parenti era la speranza che Lord Byron pure 
' lascierebbe la Romagna quando i suoi amici fossero partiti. Gia 
' da qualche tempo la permanenza di Lord Byron in Ravenna era 
' mal gradita dal Governo conoscendosile sue opinione e temendosila 
1 sua influenza ed essaggiandosi anche i suoi mezzi per esercitarla. 
' Si credeva che egli somministrasse danaro per provvedere 'armi, e 
' che provvedesse ai bisogni della Societa. La verita era che nello 
' spargere le sue beneficenze egli non s'informava delle opinioni 
' politiche e religiosi di quello che aveva bisogno del suo soccorso : 
' ogni misero ed ogni infelice aveva un eguale diviso alia sua 
' generosita. Ma in ogni modo gli Anti-Liberali lo credevano il 
' principale sostegno del Liberalismo della Romagna, e desideravano 
' la sua partenza ; ma non osando provocarla in nessun modo 
'diretto speravano di ottenerla indirettamente." 

2. The man, whose name was Balani, died eleven days after the 
accident. His widow was pensioned by Byron. (From information 
given by Signor Savini to Mr. Richard Edgcumbe.) 


will come to that he had never been hurt. Pray, let me 
hear from you, and excuse haste and hot weather. 

Yours, etc. 

You may have probably seen all sorts of attacks upon 
me in some gazettes in England some months ago. 1 I 
only saw them, by Murray's bounty, the other day. They 
call me " Plagiary," and what not. I think I now, in my 
time, have been accused of every thing. 

I have not given you details of little events here ; but 
they have been trying to make me out to be the chief of 
a conspiracy, and nothing but their want of proofs for an 
English investigation has stopped them. Had it been a 
poor native, the suspicion were enough, as it has been for 

Why don't you write on Napoleon ? 2 I have no spirits, 
nor estro to do so. His overthrow, from the beginning, 
was a blow on the head to me. Since that period, we 
have been the slaves of fools. Excuse this long letter. 
Ecco a translation literal of a French epigram. 

Egle, beauty and poet, has two little crimes, 

She makes her own face, and does not make her rhymes. 

I am going to ride, having been warned not to ride in 
a particular part of the forest on account of the ultra- 

Is there no chance of your return to England, and of 
our Journal ? I would have published the two plays in 
it two or three scenes per number and indeed all of 
mine in it. If you went to England, I would do so still. 

1. Byron probably alludes to a series of articles on his alleged 
plagiarisms by A. A. Watts, which appeared in the Literary 
Gazette for 1821 (February 24, March 3, 10, 17, 31). 

2. Napoleon died May 5, 1821. 


916. To John Murray. 

R a August 4 1 ! 1 1821. 

DEAR SIR, I return the proofs of the 2? pamphlet. 1 
I leave it to your choice and Mr. Gifford's, to publish it or 
not, with such omissions as he likes. You must, however, 
omit the whole of the observations against the Suburban 
School: they are meant against Keats, and I cannot 
war with the dead particularly those already killed 
by Criticism. Recollect to omit all that portion in 
any case. 

Lately I have sent you several packets, which require 
answer : you take a gentlemanly interval to answer 

Yours, etc., 


P.S. They write from Paris that Schlegel is making 
a fierce book against ME : what can I have done to the 
literary Col-captain of late Madame ? /, who am neither 
of his country nor his horde? Does this Hundsfott's 
intention appal you? if it does, say so. It don't me; for, 
if he is insolent, I will go to Paris and thank him. There 
is a distinction between native Criticism, because it be- 
longs to the Nation to judge and pronounce on natives ; 
but what have / to do with Germany or Germans, neither 
my subjects nor my language having anything in common 
with that Country ? He took a dislike to me, because I 
refused to flatter him in Switzerland, though Madame de 
Broglie begged me to do so, " because he is so fond of it. 
" Voild les hommes ! " 

I. The Second Letter on Bowles was not published till 1835. 
For a portion of the criticism on Keats, which is now for the first 
time published, see Appendix III. pp. 588, 589, note 3. 

VOL. V. Z 


917. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, August 7'!" 1821. 

DEAR SIR, I send you a thing which I scratched off 
lately, a mere buffoonery, to quiz TJie Blues? in two 
literary eclogues. If published, it must be anonymoitsly : 
but it is too short for a separate publication; and you 
have no miscellany, that I know of, for the reception of 
such things. You may send me a proof, if you think it 
worth the trouble; but don't let my name out for the 
present, or I shall have all the old women in London 
about my ears, since it sneers at the solace of their 
antient Spinsterstry. 

Acknowledge this, and the various packets lately sent. 


918. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, August 7*? 1 1821. 

DEAR SIR, By last post I forwarded a packet to 
you : as usual, you are avised by this post. 

I should be loth to hurt Mr. Bowles's feelings by 
publishing the second pamphlet; and, as he has shown 
considerable regard for mine, we had better suppress it 
altogether : at any rate I would not publish it without 
letting him see it first, and omitting all such matter as 
might be personally offensive to him. Also all the part 
about the Suburb School must be omitted, as it referred 
to poor Keats 2 now slain by the Quarterly Review. 

1. The Blues, a Literary Eclogue -was, published in No. in. of the 
Liberal (pp. 1-24), with the motto 

" Nimium ne crede colori." Virgil. 
" O trust not, ye beautiful creatures, to hue, 
Though your hair were as red as your stockings are blue." 

2. Shelley arrived (August 6, 1821) on a visit to Byron, and sat 


If I do not err, I mentioned to you that I had heard 
from Paris, that Schlegel announces a meditated abuse of 

up talking with him till five in the morning of the 7th. The reitera- 
tion of the charge to spare Keats may have been the result of talk 
with the writer of Adonais, who says himself that he had roused 
Byron to attack the Quarterly. In the Prose Works of Shelley (ed. 
H. Buxton Forman, vol. iv. pp. 211-233) are many interesting 
details of Byron's life at Ravenna. Shelley found Byron restored to 
health and good looks, "immersed in politics and literature, greatly 
"improved in every respect, ... in genius, in temper, in moral 
"views, in health, in happiness," and living in "splendid apart- 
"ments in the palace of his mistress's husband, who is one of the 
" richest men in Italy." Fletcher, like his master, was improved in 
health ; Tita acted as Shelley's valet. Byron's establishment, writes 
Shelley to Peacock (pp. 222, 223), " consists, besides servants, of ten 
" horses, eight enormous dogs, three monkeys, five cats, an eagle, a 
"crow, and a falcon ; and all these, except the horses, walk about 
" the house, which every now and then resounds with their unarbi- 
" trated quarrels, as if they were the masters of it." In a postscript 
he adds, " I find that my enumeration of the animals in this Circsean 
" Palace was defective, and that in a material point. I have just 
"met, on the grand staircase, five peacocks, two guinea-hens, and 
" an Egyptian crane. I wonder who all these animals were before 
" they were changed into these shapes." 

To Byron's mode of life Shelley adapted his own simpler habits 
as best he could. " Lord Byron gets up at two. I get up quite 
"contrary to my usual custom (but one must sleep or die, like 
" Southey's sea-snake in Kehama} at twelve. After breakfast, we 
" sit talking till six. From six till eight we gallop through the pine 
" forests which divide Ravenna from the sea. We then come home 
"and dine, and sit up gossipping till six in the morning." Some- 
times the evening amusements were varied by pistol-shooting at a 
pumpkin. In their after-dinner talks they discussed politics the 
hope of liberty for Italy and Greece ; Byron's future place of resi- 
dence whether Switzerland or Tuscany ; the charges made against 
Shelley by Elise Foggi ; and literature whether poetry and criticism, 
matters on which they differed more than ever ; or their respective 
works Byron silent as to Adonais, loud in praise of Prometheus and 
in censure of the Cenci ; Shelley cool towards Marino Faliero and 
the Letter on Pope, but enthusiastic over Don Juan. For Canto 
V. Shelley's admiration was strong enough to satisfy even Byron. 
He speaks of it as " transcendently fine;" "every word has the 
" stamp of immortality. I despair of rivalling Lord Byron, as well 
' ' I may, and there is no other with whom it is worth contending. 
' This canto is in the style, but totally, and sustained with incredible 
'ease and power, like the end of the second canto. There is not a 
' word which the most rigid assertor of the dignity of human nature 
' could desire to be cancelled. It fulfils, in a certain degr' _-, what 
"I have long preached of producing something wholly new and 


me in a criticism. The disloyalty of such a proceeding 
towards a foreigner, who has uniformly spoken so well of 
M? de Stael in his writings, and who, moreover, has nothing 
to do with continental literature or Schlegel's country and 
countrymen, is such, that I feel a strong inclination to 
bring the matter to a personal arbitrament, provided it 
can be done without being ridiculous or unfair. His 
intention, however, must be first fully ascertained, before 
I can proceed ; and I have written for some information 
on the subject to Mr. Moore. The Man was also my 
personal acquaintance; and though I refused to flatter 
him grossly (as M? de B. requested me to do), yet I 
uniformly treated him with respect with much more, 
indeed, than any one else : for his peculiarities are such, 
that they, one and all, laughed at him; and especially 
the Abbe Chevalier di Breme, who did nothing but make 
me laugh at him so much behind his back, that nothing 
but the politeness, on which I pique myself in society, 

" relative to the age, and yet surpassingly beautiful " (ibid., p. 219). 
On Shelley's arguments Byron gave up Switzerland. Shelley 
thought it a place " little fitted for him : the gossip and the cabals of 
"those anglicized coteries would torment him, as they did before, 
" and might exasperate him to a relapse of libertinism, which he 
" says he plunged into not from taste, but despair " (ibid,, p. 218). 

Finally, Byron decided to remain in Italy, if Madame Guiccioli 
and the Gambas would consent. Shelley was made to write her a 
letter "in lame Italian," urging the "strongest reasons" he could 
think of "against the Swiss emigration;" and at the same time 
(August II, ibid. t pp. 224, 225) he wrote to his wife, asking her to 
" inquire if any of the large palaces are to be let" at Pisa. Con- 
vinced by Shelley, Madame Guiccioli gave up her project (August 
15), adding at the end of her letter the words, " Sign ore la vostra 
" bonta mi fa ardita di chiedervi un favore me lo accorderete voii 
" Non partite da Ravenna senza Milord " (ibid., p. 228). By Shelley 
the Palazzo Lanfranchi, on the Lung' Arno at Pisa, was taken for 
Byron. Another result of the visit was the invitation to Leigh 
Hunt, conveyed in Shelley's letter of August 26, 1821 (ibid., pp. 
235-237), to come to Pisa, and "go shares," with Byron and him- 
self, " in a periodical work to be conducted here, in which each of 
' ' the contracting parties should publish all their original composi- 
" tions, and share the profits." 


could have prevented me from doing so to his face. He 
is just such a character as William the testy * in Irving's 
New York. But I must have him out for all that, since 
his proceeding (supposing it to be true), is ungentlemanly 
in all its bearings at least in my opinion ; but perhaps 
my partiality misleads me. 

It appears to me that there is a distinction between 
native and foreign criticism in the case of living authors, 
or at least should be ; I don't speak of Journalists (who 
are the same all over the world), but where a man, with 
his name at length, sits down to an elaborate attempt to 
defame a foreigner of his acquaintance, without provoca- 
tion and without legitimate object : for what can I import 
to the Germans? What effect can I have upon their 
literature ? Do you think me in the wrong ? if so, say so. 

Yours ever, 

P.S. I mentioned in my former letters, that it was 
my intention to have the two plays published immediately. 

Acknowledge the various packets. 

I am extremely angry with you, I beg leave to add, 
for several reasons too long for present explanation. 
Mr. D. K. is in possession of some of them. 

I have just been turning over the homicide review of 

I. Washington Irving's History of Neiv York, bk. iv., contains the 
Chronicles of William the Testy. Wilhelmus Kieft, by nature, 
and by the meaning of his name, a " wrangler or scolder" " had not 
' ' been a year in the government of the province, before he was 
' universally denominated William the Testy. His appearance 
' answered to his name. He was a brisk, wiry, waspish little old 
' g' .man : ... his face was broad, but his features were sharp ; 
' .a cheeks were scorched into a dusky red by two fiery little grey 
' eyes ; his nose turned up, and the corners of his mouth turned 
' down, pretty much like the muzzle of an irritable pug-dog. . . . 
' He seldom got into an argument without getting into a passion 
' with his adversary for not being convinced gratis " (A Histoiy of 
New York, by Diedrich Knickerbocker, ed. 1864, pp. 240, 241). 


J. Keats. It is harsh certainly and contemptuous, but 
not more so than what I recollect of the Edinburgh R. of 
" the Hours of Idleness" in 1808. The Reviewer allows 
him " a degree of talent which deserves to be put in the 
" right way," " rays of fancy," " gleams of Genius," and 
"powers of language." It is harder on L. Hunt than 
upon Keats, and professes fairly to review only one book 
of his poem. Altogether, though very provoking, it was 
hardly so bitter as to kill, unless there was a morbid feel- 
ing previously in his system. 

919. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, August 10, 1821. 

DEAR SIR, Your conduct to Mr. Moore is certainly 
very handsome ; 1 and I would not say so if I could help 
it, for you are not at present by any means in my good 

With regard to additions, etc., there is a Journal which 
I kept in 1814 which you may ask him for ; also a Journal 
which you must get from Mrs. Leigh, of my journey in 
the Alps, which contains all the germs of Manfred. I 
have also kept a small Diary here for a few months last 
winter, which I would send you, and any continuation. 
You would easy find access to all my papers and letters, 
and do not neglect this (in case of accidents) on account of 
the mass of confusion in which they are ; for out of that 
chaos of papers you will find some curious ones of mine 
and others, if not lost or destroyed. If circumstances, 
however (which is almost impossible), made me ever 
consent to a publication in my lifetime, you would in that 

I. Moore notes in his Diary for July 27, 1821 (Memoirs, vol. iii. 
p. 260), " Received also a letter from Murray, consenting to give me 
" two thousand guineas for Lord Byron's Memoirs, on condition that, 
" in case of survivorship, I should consent to be the editor." 


case, I suppose, make Moore some advance, in proportion 
to the likelihood or non-likelihood of success. You are 
both sure to survive me, however. 

You must also have from Mr. Moore the correspond- 
ence between me and Lady B., to whom I offered the 
sight of all which regards herself in these papers. This 
is important. He has her letter, and a copy of my 
answer. I would rather Moore edited me than another. 

I sent you Valpy's letter to decide for yourself, and 
Stockdale's to amuse you. / am always loyal with you, 
as I was in Galignani's affair, and you with me now and 

I return you Moore's letter, which is very creditable 
to him, and you, and me. 

Yours ever, 

920. To John Murray. 

R a . August 13*?' 1821. 

DEAR SIR, I think it as well to remind you that, 
in "the Hints" all the part, which regards Jeffrey and 
the E.R., must be omitted. Your late mistake about the 
Kelso-woman induces me to remind you of this, which I 
appended to your power of Attorney six years ago, viz., 
to omit all that could touch upon Jeffrey in that publica- 
tion, which was written a year before our reconciliation 
in 1812. 

Have you got the Bust ? 

I expect with anxiety the proofs of The Two Foscaris. 


P.S. Acknowledge the various packets. 


921. To John Murray. 

R=> August I6'! 1 1821. 

DEAR SIR, I regret that Holmes can't or won't 
come : it is rather shabby, as I was always very civil 
and punctual with him ; but he is but one rascal more 
one meets with none else amongst the English. 

You may do what you will with my answer to Stock- 
dale, 1 of whom I know nothing, but answered his letter 
civilly : you may open it, and burn it or not, as you 
please. It contains nothing of consequence to any-body. 
How should I, or, at least, was I then to know that he 
was a rogue ? I am not aware of the histories of London 
and its inhabitants. 

Your more recent parcels are not yet arrived, but are 
probably on their way. 

I sprained my knee the other day in swimming, and 
it hurts me still considerably. 

I wait the proofs of the MSS. with proper impatience. 

So you have published, or mean to publish, the new 
Juans 1 an't you afraid of the Constitutional Assassination 
of Bridge street? 2 vhen first I saw the name of Murray, 

1. John Joseph Stockdale (1770-1847), whose actions against 
Hansard (1836-40) led to the settlement of an important point of 
"privilege," and who published (1826) the disgraceful Memoirs of 
Harriette Wilson. 

2. The Constitutional Association was formed to prosecute, by 
means of a common fund, persons charged with offences against 
Church and State. One of the attorneys to the association was 
Charles Murray. Several attempts were made by members of the 
Opposition to suppress the society as mischievous, if not illegal. 
Brougham in the House of Commons, May 23, 1821 (Hansard, N.S., 
vol. v. pp. 891, 892), drew the attention of the House to the proceed- 
ings of the society, and on May 30 (ibid., p. 1046) to the circular 
" to the Magistrates of England " issued by the Bridge Street Com- 
mittee. On June 5 (ibid., p. 1114) Dr. Lushington presented a 
petition from Thomas Dolby, a bookseller in the Strand, who had 
been prosecuted by the society, and attacked the conduct of Charles 
Murray, one of its attorneys. Hobhouse, June 14 (ibid., p. 1181), 


I thought it had been yours ; but was solaced by seeing 
that your Synonime is an Attorneo, and that you are not 
one of that atrocious crew. 1 

I am in a great discomfort about the probable war, 
and with my damned trustees not getting me out of the 
funds. If the funds break, it is my intention to go upon 
the highway : all the other English professions are at 
present so ungentlemanly by the conduct of those who 
follow them, that open robbery is the only fair resource 
left to a man of any principles; it is even honest, in 
comparison, by being undisguised. 

I wrote to you by last post, to say that you had done 
the handsome thing by Moore and the Memoranda. 
You are very good as times go, and would probably be 
still better but for the " March of events " (as Napoleon 
called it), which won't permit any body to be better than 
they should be. 

Love to Gifford. Believe me, 

Yours ever and truly, 


presented a similar petition from a man named King. Finally 
Whitbread, July 3 (ibid., p. 1486), proposed that an address be 
presented, praying His Majesty to direct the Attorney-General to 
enter a nolle prosequi against all indictments laid by the association ; 
but the motion was lost. On June 5, 1821, an application for 
warrants to apprehend the most active members of the society, was 
refused by the Lord Mayor. 

In Dolby's petition to the House of Commons, as quoted in the 

Morning Chronicle for June 6, 1821, it is stated that Dolby "had 

' several interviews with Mr. Murray, during the last of which 

' terms were proposed by Mr. Murray, who, in consideration of 

'your Petitioner's submitting to plead guilty, and enter 

' into an engagement not to sell any books 'which the Association 
' might deem offensive for two years, offered to waive bringing up 
' your Petitioner for judgment." Possibly Byron may make special 
reference to this provision. 

I. " Many persons besides you," writes Murray (Memoir, vol. i. 
p. 424), on September 6, 1821,. "have at first supposed that I was 
"the person of the same name connected with the Constitutional 
" Association, but without consideration ; for on what occasion have 


P.S. I restore Smith's 1 letter, wJwm thank for his 
good opinion. Is the Bust by Thorwaldsen arrived ? 

922. To John Murray. 

R a . August 23 d 1821. 

DEAR SIR, Enclosed are the two acts corrected. 
With regard to the charges about the Shipwreck,' I 
think that I told both you and Mr. Hobhouse, years ago, 
that [there] was not a single circumstance of it not taken 
from fact; not, indeed, from any single shipwreck, but 
all from actual facts of different wrecks. Almost all 
Don Juan is real life, either my own, or from people 
I knew. By the way, much of the description of the 
furniture^ in Canto 3? , is taken from Tultys Tripoli 3 (pray 

' I identified myself with a party ? My connexions are, I believe, 
' even more numerous amongst the Whigs than the Tories. Indeed, 
' the Whigs have nearly driven away the Tories from my house ; 
' and Jeffrey said, ' If you wish to meet the most respectable of the 
' Whigs, you must be introduced to Mr. Murray's room.' " 

1. James Smith, brother of Horace, and joint author of Rejected 

2. In the Monthly Magazine, vol. lii. (August, 1821, pp. 19-22, 
and September, 1821, pp. 105-109), Byron's indebtedness to Sir J. 
G. Dalyell's Shipwrecks and Disasters at Sea (Edinburgh, 1812, 
8vo) is pointed out. 

3. Richard Tully, Consul at Tripoli 1783-93, wrote a Narrative 
of a Ten Years' Residence at the Court of Tripoli. Published in 410 
in 1816, the book reached a fourth edition in 1819. Byron, in Don 
Juan (Canto III. stanzas Ixvii.-lxix.), made use of the following 
passage from Tully's Narrative (2nd edit., p. 135) : 

" The hangings of the room were of tapestry, made in pannels of 
' different coloured velvets, thickly inlaid with flowers of silk damask ; 
' a yellow border, of about a foot in depth, finished the tapestry at 
' top and bottom, the upper border being embroidered with Moorish 
' sentences from the Koran in lilac letters. The carpet was of 
' crimson satin, with a deep border of pale blue quilted : this is laid 
' over Indian mats and other carpets. In the best part of the room 
' the sofa is placed, which occupies three sides of an alcove, the 
' floor of which is raised. The sofa and the cushions that lay around 
' were of crimson velvet : the centre cushions being embroidered 
' with a sun in gold of .highly embossed work, the rest were of gold 
' and silver tissue. The curtains for the alcove were made to match 


note this), and the rest from my own observation. Re- 
member, I never meant to conceal this at all, and have 
only not stated it, because Don Juan had no preface nor 
name to it. If you think it worth while to make this 
statement, do so, in your own way. / laugh at such 
charges, convinced that no writer ever borrowed less, or 
made his materials more his own. Much is coincidence : 
for instance, Lady Morgan (in a really excellent book, I 
assure you, on Italy 1 ) calls Venice an Ocean Rome ; I 
have the very same expression in Foscari? and yet you 
know that the play was written months ago, and sent to 
England. The Italy I received only on the i6th in-'. 
Your friend, like the public, is not aware, that my 
dramatic simplicity is shidiously Greek, and must con- 
tinue so : no reform ever succeeded at first. I admire 
the old English dramatists ; but this is quite another field, 
and has nothing to do with theirs. I want to make a 
regular English drama, no matter whether for the Stage 
or not, which is not my object, but a mental tJieatre. 

Yours ever, 

' those before the bed. A number of looking-glasses, and a profu- 
' sion of fine china and chrystal completed the ornaments and furni- 
' ture of the room, in which there were neither tables nor chairs. 
' A small table, about six inches high, is brought in when refresh- 
' ments are served : it is of ebony inlaid with mother-of-pearl, 
' tortoiseshell, ivory, gold and silver, of choice woods, or of plain 
' mahogany, according to the circumstances of the proprietor. 

1. In Italy (vol. iii. pp. 263, 264 of Galignani's 1821 edition), Lady 
Morgan writes, " As the bark, however, glides on, as the shore 

' recedes, and the city of the waves, the Rome of the ocean, rises on 
' the horizon, the spirits rally," etc., etc. (For Lady Morgan, see 
Letters, vol. iii. p. no, note 3.) 

2. Tlu Two Foscari was, as Byron's MS. note records, "begun 
"June the 12^, completed July the 9 l . h , Ravenna, 1821." The 
phrase occurs in act iii. sc. I 

" Their antique energy of mind, all that 
Remain'd of Rome for their inheritance, 
Created by degrees an ocean-Rome." 


Is the bust arrived ? 

P.S. Can't accept your courteous offer. 1 

For Orford and for Waldegrave 

You give much more than me you gave; 

Which is not fairly to behave, 

My Murray ! 

Because if a live dog, 'tis said, 

Be worth a Lion fairly sped, 

A live lord must be worth two dead, 

My Murray ! 

And if, as the opinion goes, 
Verse hath a better sale than prose 
Certes, I should have more than those, 
My Murray ! 

But now this sheet is nearly crammed, 
So, if you will, I shan't be shammed, 
And if you won't, you may be damned, 
My Murray ! 

These matters must be arranged with Mr. Douglas 
K. He is my trustee, and a man of honour. To him 
you can state all your mercantile reasons, which you 
might not like to state to me personally, such as " heavy 
"season" "flat public " " don't go off " " Lordship 
" writes too much " " won't take advice " " declining 
" popularity " " deductions for the trade " " make very 
"little" "generally lose by him" "pirated edition" 
" foreign edition " " severe criticisms," etc., with other 
hints and howls for an oration, which I leave Douglas, 
who is an orator, to answer. 

I. I.e. 2000 for three cantos of Don yuan, Sardanapalus, and 
The Two Foscari. 


You can also state them more freely to a third person, 
as between you and me they could only produce some 
smart postscripts, which would not adorn our mutual 

I am sorry for the Queen, 1 and that's more than 
you are. 

923. To Thomas Moore. 

Ravenna, August 24, 1821. 

Yours of the 5th only yesterday, while I had letters 
of the 8th from London. Doth the post dabble into our 
letters? Whatever agreement you make with Murray, 
if satisfactory to yoti, must be so to me. There need be 
no scruple, because, though I used sometimes to buffoon 
to myself, loving a quibble as well as the barbarian him- 
self (Shakspeare, to wit) " that, like a Spartan, I would 
"sell my life as dearly as possible" it never was my 
intention to turn it to personal pecuniary account, but to 
bequeath it to a friend yourself in the event of sur- 
vivorship. I anticipated that period, because we happened 
to meet, and I urged you to make what was possible now 
by it, for reasons which are obvious. It has been no 
possible privation to me, and therefore does not require 
the acknowledgments you mention. So, for God's sake, 
don't consider it like * * * 

By the way, when you write to Lady Morgan, will 
you thank her for her handsome speeches in her book 
about my books? I do not know her address. Her 
work is fearless and excellent on the subject of Italy 
pray tell her so and I know the country. I wish she 
had fallen in with me, I could have told her a thing or 
two that would have confirmed her positions. 

I. Queen Caroline died August 7, 1821. 


I am glad you are satisfied with Murray, who seems 
to value dead lords more than live ones. I have just 
sent him the following answer to a proposition of his, 

For Orford and for Waldegrave, etc. 1 

The argument of the above is, that he wanted to 
" stint me of my sizings," 2 as Lear says, that is to say 
jwt to propose an extravagant price for an extravagant 
poem, as is becoming. Pray take his guineas, by all 
means / taught him that. He made me a filthy offer 
of pounds once; but I told him that, like physicians, 
poets must be dealt with in guineas, as being the only 
advantage poets could have in the association with them, 
as votaries of Apollo. I write to you in hurry and bustle, 
which I will expound in my next. 

Yours ever, etc. 

P.S. You mention something of an attorney on his 
way to me on legal business. I have had no warning of 
such an apparition. What can the fellow want ? I have 
some lawsuits and business, but have not heard of any 
thing to put me to the expense of a travelling lawyer. 
They do enough, in that way, at home. 

Ah, poor Queen ! But perhaps it is for the best, if 
Herodotus's anecdote 3 is to be believed * * * 

Remember me to any friendly Angles of our mutual 

1. Here follow the lines given in the previous letter. 

2. " Tis not in thee 

To grudge my pleasures, to cut off my train, 
To bandy hasty words, to scant my sizes, 
And, in conclusion, to oppose the bolt 
Against my coming in." 

King Lear, act ii. sc. 4. 

3. The goddess Hera taught her priestess Cydippe, mother of 
Cleobis and Biton, that death is a higher boon than life (wv 
&Hfn>ov efrj a.vOpd>ir(f fia\\ov t) a>fti> : Herodotus, i. 31). 


acquaintance. What are you doing ? Here I have had 
my hands full with tyrants and their victims. There 
never was such oppression, even in Ireland, scarcely ! 

924. To John Murray. 

R a . August 31? 1821. 

DEAR SIR, I have received the Juans* which are 
printed so carelessly, especially the 5^ Canto, as to be 
disgraceful to me, and not creditable to you. It really 
must be gone over again with the Manuscript, the errors 
are so gross words added changed so as to make 
cacophony and nonsense. You have been careless of 
this poem because some of your Synod don't approve of 
it ; but I tell you, it will be long before you see any thing 
half so good as poetry or writing. Upon what principle 
have you omitted the note on Bacon and Voltaire ? and 
one of the concluding stanzas sent as an addition ? because 
it ended, I suppose, with 

And do not link two virtuous souls for life 
Into that moral Centaur, man and wife ? 

Now, I must say, once for all, that I will not permit 
any human being to take such liberties with my writings 
because I am absent. I desire the omissions to be 
replaced (except the stanza on Semiramis) particularly 
the stanza upon the Turkish marriages; and I request 
that the whole be carefully gone over with the MSS. 

I never saw such stuff as is printed : Gulleyaz instead 
of Gulbeyaz, etc. Are you aware that Gulleyaz is a real 

I. Cantos III., IV., and V. of Don yuan were published together 
in August, 1821, without the name of author or publisher. The 
sale was enormous. " The booksellers' messengers filled the street 
" in front of the house in Albemarle Street, and the parcels of books 
' ' were given out of the window in answer to their obstreperous 
"demands" (Memoir of John Murray, vol. i. p. 413). 


name, and the other nonsense ? I copied the Cantos out 
carefully, so that there is no excuse, as the Printer reads, 
or at least prints , the MSS. of the plays without error. 

If you have no feeling for your own reputation, pray 
have some little for mine. I have read over the poem 
carefully, and I tell you, // is poetry. Your little envious 
knot of parson-poets may say what they please : time will 
show that I am not in this instance mistaken. 

Desire my friend Hobhouse to correct the press, 
especially of the last Canto, from the Manuscript as it is : 
it is enough to drive one out of one's senses, to see the 
infernal torture of words from the original. For instance 
the line 

And pair their rhymes as Venus yokes her doves 
is printed 

And praise their rhymes, etc. 

Also ''precarious " for "precocious ; " and this line, stanza 

And this strong extreme effect to tire no longer. 1 

Now do turn to the Manuscript and see if I ever wrote 
such a line: it is not "verse. 

No wonder the poem should fail (which, however, it 
won't, you will see) with such things allowed to creep 
about it. Replace what is omitted, and correct what is 
so shamefully misprinted, and let the poem have fair 
play ; and I fear nothing. 

I see in the last two Numbers of the Quarterly a 
strong itching to assail me (see the review of the 
" Etonian " 2 ) : let it, and see if they shan't have enough 

1. "And " should be deleted. The line runs thus 

" This strong extreme effect (to tire no longer 
Your patience)," etc., etc. 

2. " Godiva," says the Quarterly Review (vol. xxv. p. 106), " is 

1 82 1.] A REVIEWER REVIEWED. 353 

of it. I don't allude to Gifford, who has always been 
my friend, and whom I do not consider as responsible 
for the articles written by others. 

But if I do not give Mr. Milman, and others of the 
crew, something that shall occupy their dreams ! I have 
not begun with the Quarterers ; but let them look to it. 
As for Milman (you well know I have not been unfair to 
his poetry ever), but I have lately had some information 
of his critical proceedings in the Quarterly , which may 
bring that on him which he will be sorry for. I happen 
to know that of him, which would annihilate him, when 
he pretends to preach morality not that he is immoral, 

You will publish the plays when ready. I am in such 
a humour about this printing of Don Juan so inaccurately, 
that I must close this. 

Yours ever, 

P.S. I presume that you have not lost the stanza to 
which I allude ? it was sent afterwards : look over my 
letters and find it. 

The Notes you can't have lost you acknowledged 
them : they included eight or nine corrections of Bacon's 
mistakes in the apophthegms. 

And now I ask once more if such liberties, taken in a 
man's absence, are fair or praise-worthy ? As for you, you 

1 a successful imitation of the new Whistlecraft style ; we think, 
' however, that with much of the instinctive delicacy and native 
' gentility of the poet of ' Gyges,' the author has not succeeded in 
' handling his subject with the same dexterity and decorum ; and if 
' our literature is to be disgraced (as is threatened) by the publication 
1 of an English Pucelle, we do not wish to see, in a work like The 
' Etonian, any thing which may, in the most distant degree, remind 
' us of such compositions." 

VOL. V. 2 A 


have no opinions of your own, and never had, but are 
blown about by the last thing said to you, no matter by 

925. To John Murray. 1 


DEAR SIR, The enclosed letter is written in bad 
humour, but not without provocation. However, let it 
(that is, the bad humour) go for little ; but I must request 
your serious attention to the abuses of the printer, which 
ought never to have been permitted. You forget that all 
the fools in London (the chief purchasers of your publica- 
tions) will condemn in me the stupidity of your printer. 
For instance, in the Notes to Canto fifth, " the Adriatic 
" shore of the Bosphorus," instead of the Asiatic ! ! All 
this may seem little to you so fine a gentleman with 
your ministerial connections ; but it is serious to me, who 
am thousands of miles off, and have no opportunity of not 
proving myself the fool your printer makes me, except 
your pleasure and leisure, forsooth. 

The Gods prosper you, and forgive you, for I won't. 


926. To J. Mawman. 2 

R? A? 31*' 1821. 

L? Byron presents his Compliments to Mr. Mawman 
and would be particularly glad to see that Gentleman if 

1. Written in the envelope of the preceding letter. 

2. Byron gave Mawman a copy of the edition of Cantos III., IV., 
V. of Don Juan, and wrote the following inscription on the title- 
page : 

"to J. Mawman, Esq 
" from the Author. 

"SepU I? 1 1821. 

" Mr. Mawman is requested to show this copy to the publisher 
"and to point out the gross printer's blunders, some of which only 

1 82 1.] TWO PAPER BOOKS. 355 

he can make it convenient to call at half past two to- 
morrow afternoon. 

L/? B. takes the liberty of sending his Carriage and 
horses in case Mr. M. would like to make the round of 
the remarkable buildings of Ravenna. 

927. To Thomas Moore. 

Ravenna, September 3, 1821. 

By Mr. Mawman (a paymaster in the corps, in which 
you and I are privates) I yesterday expedited to your 
address, under cover one, two paper books, 1 containing 

"the author has had time to correct. They did not exist in the 
" MSS. but are owing to the carelessness of the printer, etc." 

On the fly-leaf at the end of the volume Mawman has written, in 
pencil, the following note : 

" Ld. B. shewed me a weather-beaten scrawl of paper which he 
" told me had been taken off the pillar in the market-place of 
" Ravenna, on which was offered a price for his head. Lord B. 
"committed to my care a small packet (of a small 410. form and 
" appearing to contain about 200 pages) intended for Mr. Moore, 
"the poet, at Paris. This parcel I took to Brussels, and sent it 
" thence thro' the Spanish ambassador resident in that capital to 
" Paris. In October, Mr. Moore called at my house in London 
" and enquired with great solicitude for this Parcel. I told him how 
" I had caused it to be conveyed to Paris. He afterwards found it 
"to have been safely delivered. This packet I believe to have 
"been the memoirs of Lord Byron's Life which were afterwards 
" destroyed." The copy of Don Juan is now in the possession of 
Mr. Edward Pollock. 

I. "One of the 'paper-books' mentioned in this letter," says 
Moore (Life, p. 527), "as intrusted to Mr. Mawman for me, con- 
" tained a portion, to the amount of nearly a hundred pages, of a 
' ' prose story, relating the adventures of a young Andalusian noble- 
" man, which had been begun by him, at Venice, in 1817. The 
' ' following ; passage is all I shall extract from this amusing 
" Fragment : 

" ' A few hours afterwards we were very good friends, and a few 
" days after she set out for Arragon, with my son, on a visit to her 
" father and mother. I did not accompany her immediately, having 
" been in Arragon before, but was to join the family in their Moorish 
" chateau within a few weeks. 

" ' During her journey I received a very affectionate letter from 
" Donna Josepha, apprising me of the welfare of herself and my son. 


the Gt'aour-na\, and a thing or two. It won't all do 
even for the posthumous public but extracts from it 
may. It is a brief and faithful chronicle of a month or 
so parts of it not very discreet, but sufficiently sincere. 
Mr. Mawman saith that he will, in person or per friend, 
have it delivered to you in your Elysian fields. 

If you have got the new Juans, recollect that there 
are some very gross printer's blunders, particularly in the 
fifth canto, such as " praise " for " pair " " precarious " 
for " precocious " " Adriatic " for " Asiatic " " case " 
for "chase" besides gifts of additional words and 

' On her arrival at the chateau, I received another still more afiec- 
' donate, pressing me, in very fond, and rather foolish, terms, to 
4 join her immediately. As I was preparing to set out from Seville, 
' I received a third this was from her father, Don Jose cli Cardozo, 
' who requested me, in the politest manner, to dissolve my marriage. 
' I answered him with equal politeness, that I would do no such 
' thing. A fourth letter arrived it was from Donna Josepha, in 
' which she informed me that her father's letter was written by her 
' particular desire. I requested the reason by return of post she 
4 replied, by express, that as reason had nothing to do with the 
4 matter, it was unnecessary to give any but that she was an injured 
4 and excellent woman. I then enquired why she had written to me 
4 the two preceding affectionate letters, requesting me to come to 
' Arragon. She answered, that was because she believed me out of 
' my senses that, being unfit to take care of myself, I had only 
' to set out on this journey alone, and making my way without 
' difficulty to Don Jose di Cardozo's, I should there have found the 
' tenderest of wives and a strait waistcoat. 

" 4 1 had nothing to reply to this piece of affection but a reiteration 
' of my request for some lights upon the subject. I was answered, 
' that they would only be related to the Inquisition. In the mean 
4 time, our domestic discrepancy had become a public topic of 
' discussion ; and the world, which always decides justly, not only 
' in Arragon but in Andalusia, determined that I was not only to 
' blame, but that all Spain could produce nobody so blameable. 
' My case was supposed to comprise all the crimes which could, and 
4 several which could not, be committed, and little less than an 
' auto-da-f was anticipated as the result. But let no man say that 
4 we are abandoned by our friends in adversity it was just the 
4 reverse. Mine thronged around me to condemn, advise, and 
' console me with their disapprobation. They told me all that was, 
4 would, or could be said on the subject. They shook their heads 
4 they exhorted me deplored me, with tears in their eyes, and 
4 went to dinner.' " 

1 82 1.] A FIERCE LETTER. 357 

syllables, which make but a cacophonous rhythmus. Put 
the pen through the said, as I would mine through 
Murray's ears, if I were alongside him. As it is, I have 
sent him a rattling letter, as abusive as possible. Though 
he is publisher to the " Board of Longitude? he is in no 
danger of discovering it. 

I am packing for Pisa but direct your letters fiere, 
till further notice. 

Yours ever, etc. 

928. To John Murray. 

Sept r . 4'h 1821. 

DEAR SIR, Enclosed are some notes, etc. You will 
also have the goodness to hold yourself in readiness to 
publish the long delayed letter to Blackwoods, etc. ; but 
previously let me have a proof of it, as I mean it for a 
separate publication. The enclosed note * you will annex 
to the Foscaris ; also the dedication. 


929. To John Murray. 

R? September 4< h 1821. 

DEAR SIR, By Saturday's post, I sent you a fierce 
and furibond letter upon the subject of the printer's 
blunders in Don Juan. I must solicit your attention to 
the topic, though my wrath hath subsided into sullenness. 

I. This note probably contained Byron's answer to Southey's 
Preface to A Vision of Judgment. The Two Foscari (published 
December, 1821), which Byron had intended to dedicate to Scott, 
appeared, in consequence of the attack on Southey, without a dedi- 
cation. (For fresh proof of Byron's dislike to Southey, for Southey's 
Preface to A Vision ofjudgm&it, Byron's reply, Southey's answer, 
and other references to the dispute, see Liters, vol. vi. Appendix I.) 


Yesterday I received Mr. Mawman, a friend of yours, 
and because he is a friend of yours ; and that's more than 
I would do in an English case, except for those whom I 
honour. I was as civil as I could be among packages, 
even to the very chairs and tables; for I am going to 
Pisa in a few weeks, and have sent and am sending off 
my chattels. It regretted me that, my books and every 
thing being packed, I could not send you a few things I 
meant for you ; but they were all sealed and baggaged, 
so as to have made it a Month's work to get at them 
again. I gave him an envelope, with the Italian Scrap 
in it, 1 alluded to in my Gilchrist defence. Hobhouse 
will make it out for you, and it will make you laugh, and 
him too, the spelling particularly. The " Mericani" of 
whom they call me the " Capo " (or Chief), mean 
"Americans," which is the name given in Romagna to 
a part of the Carbonari ; 2 that is to say, to the popular 
part, the troops of the Carbonari. They were originally 
a society of hunters in the forest, who took that name of 
Americans, but at present comprize some thousands, etc. \ 
but I shan't let you further into the secret, which may be 
participated with the postmasters. Why they thought me 
their Chief, I know not : their Chiefs are like " Legion, 
" being Many." However, it is a post of more honour 
than profit, for, now that they are persecuted, it is fit that 
I should aid them ; and so I have done, as far as my 
means will permit. They will rise again some day, for 
these fools of the Government are blundering : they 
actually seem to know nothing; for they have arrested 
and banished many of their own party, and let others 
escape who are not their friends. 

1. An anonymous letter which Byron had received, threatening 
him with assassination. 

2. See p. 158, note I. 


What thinkst thou of Greece ? 

Address to me here as usual, till you hear further 
from me. 

By Mawman I have sent a journal to Moore ; but it 
won't do for the public, at least a great deal of it won't ; 
-parts may. 

I read over the Juans, which are excellent. Your 
Synod was quite wrong ; and so you will find by and bye. 
I regret that I do not go on with it, for I had all the plan 
for several cantos, and different countries and climes. 
You say nothing of the note I enclosed to you, which 
will explain why I agreed to discontinue it (at Madame 
G.'s request) ; but you are so grand, and sublime, and 
occupied, that one would think, instead of publishing for 
"the Board of Longittide" that you were trying to 
discover it. 

Let me hear that Gifford is better. He can't be spared 
either by you or me. 

Enclosed is a note, which I will thank you not to 
forget to acknowledge and to publish. 


930. To John Murray. 

[Post-mark dated Sept. 9, 1821.] 

DEAR SIR, Will you have the goodness to forward 
the enclosed to Mr. Gilchrist, whose address I do not 
exactly know ? If that Gentleman would like to see my 
second letter to you, on the attack upon himself, you can 
forward him a copy of the proof. 

Yours ever, 



931. To John Murray. 

Sept'. 9 l . h 1821. 

DEAR SIR,' Please to forward the enclosed also to 
Mr. Gilchrist. 

I cut my finger, in diving yesterday, against a sharp 
shell, and can hardly write. 

Last week, I sent a long note (in English) to the play : 
let me have a proof of it ; but, as I am in haste, you can 
publish the play with the whole of //, except the part 
referring to SOUTHEY, to which I wish to add something ; 
and we will then append the whole to a re-print. All 
the part, down to where it begins on that rascal, will do 
for publication without my reviewing it that is to say, if 
your printer will take pains, and not be careless, as about 
the newjuans. 

Let me hear that Mr. Gifford is better, and your 
family well. 


932. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, Sepf. lo l . h 1821. 

DEAR SIR, By this post I send you three packets 
containing Cain, a Mystery (i.e. a tragedy on a sacred 
subject) in three acts. 1 I think that it contains some 
poetry, being in the style of "Manfred" Send me a 
proof of the whole by return of post. If tJiere is time, 
publish it with the other two: if not, print it separately, 
and as soon as you can. 

Of the dedications (sent lately), I wish to transfer that 

I. Cain, a Mystery, was published by Murray with Sardanapahts 
and The Tivo Foscari in December, 1821. 

l82I.] CAIN, A MYSTERY. 361 

to Sir Walter Scott to this drama of Cain, reserving that 
of the " Foscaris" for another, for a particular reason, of 
which more by and bye. Write. 


933. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, September I2*. h 1821. 

DEAR SIR, By Tuesday's post, I forwarded, in three 
packets, the drama of " Cain" in three acts, of which I 
request the acknowledgement when arrived. To the last 
speech of Eve, in the last act (i.e. where she curses Cain), 
add these three lines to the concluding one 

May the Grass wither from thy foot ! the Woods 

Deny thee shelter ! Earth a home ! the Dust 

A Grave ! the Sun his light ! and Heaven her God ! 

There's as pretty a piece of Imprecation for you, when 
joined to the lines already sent, as you may wish to meet 
with in the course of your business. But don't forget the 
addition of the above three lines, which are clinchers to 
Eve's speech. 

Let me know what Gifford thinks (if the play arrives 
in safety) ; for I have a good opinion of the piece, as 
poetry : it is in my gay metaphysical style, and in the 
Manfred line. 

You must at least commend my facility and variety, 
when you consider what I have done within the last 
fifteen months, with my head, too, full of other and of 
mundane matters. But no doubt you will avoid saying 
any good of it, for fear I should raise the price upon you : 
that's right stick to business ! Let me know what your 
other ragamuffins are writing, for I suppose you don't like 


starting too many of your Vagabonds at once. You may 
give them the start, for any thing I care. 

If this arrives in time to be added to the other two 
dramas, publish them togetfar : if not, publish it separately, 
in the same form, to tally for the purchasers. Let me 
have a proof of the whole speedily. It is longer than 

Why don't you publish my Pulcil 1 the best thing I 
ever wrote, with the Italian to it. I wish I was alongside 
of you : nothing is ever done in a man's absence ; every 
body runs counter, because they can. If ever I do return 
to England, (which I shan't though,) I will write a poem 
to which English Bards, etc., shall be New Milk, in com- 
parison. Your present literary world of mountebanks 
stands in need of such an Avatar ; but I am not yet quite 
bilious enough : a season or two more, and a provocation 
or two, will wind me up to the point, and then, have at 
the whole set ! 

I have no patience with the sort of trash you send me 
out by way of books ; except Scott's novels, and three or 
four other things, I never saw such work or works. 
Campbell is lecturing, Moore idling, Southey twaddling, 
Wordsworth driveling, Coleridge muddling, Joanna Baillie 
piddling, Bowles quibbling, squabbling, and sniveling. 
Milman will do, if he don't cant too much, nor imitate 
Southey : the fellow has poesy in him ; but he is envious, 
and unhappy, as all the envious are. Still he is among 
the best of the day. Barry Cornwall will do better by 
and bye, I dare say, if he don't get spoilt by green tea, 
and the praises of Pentonville and Paradise Row. The 
pity of these men is, that they never lived either in high 

I. Byron's translation of the first Canto of Luigi Pulci's Morgante 
Maggiore, with the Italian, was published in the Liberal, No. iv. 
pp. I93-249- 


life^ nor in solitiide: there is no medium for the knowledge 
of the busy or the still world. If admitted into high life 
for a season, it is merely as spectators they form no part 
of the Mechanism thereof. Now Moore and I, the one 
by circumstances, and the other by birth, happened to be 
free of the corporation, and to have entered into its 
pulses and passions, qitarum partes fidnms. Both of us 
have learnt by this much which nothing else could have 
taught us. 


P.S. I saw one of your brethren, another of the 
Allied Sovereigns of Grub-Street, the other day, viz. : 
Mawman the Great, by whom I sent due homage to your 
imperial self. Tomorrow's post may perhaps bring a 
letter from you; but you are the most ungrateful and 
ungracious of correspondents. But there is some excuse 
for you, with your perpetual levee of politicians, parson- 
scribblers, and loungers : some day I will give you a 
poetical Catalogue of them. 

The post is come : no letter, but never mind. 

How is Mrs. Murray, and Gifford ? Better ? Say well. 

My Compliments to Mr. Heber * upon his Election. 

I. Richard Heber (1773-1833) was elected M.P. for the University 
of Oxford, August 24, 1821. The vacancy was caused by the 
elevation of Sir William Scott to the peerage. At the end of the 
poll the candidates stood thus 

Mr. Heber 612 

Sir John Nicholl 519 

Majority for Mr. Ileber 93 


934. To Thomas Moore. 

Ravenna, September 17, 1821. 

The enclosed lines, 1 as you will directly perceive, are 
written by the Rev. W. L. B * *. Of course it is for him 
to deny them if they are not. 

Believe me, yours ever and most affectionately, 


P.S. Can you forgive this? It is only a reply to 
your lines against my Italians. Of course I will stand by 
my lines against all men ; but it is heartbreaking to see 
such things in a people as the reception of that unre- 
deemed ****** in an oppressed country. Your 
apotheosis is now reduced to a level with his welcome, 
and their gratitude to Grattan is cancelled by their 
atrocious adulation of this, etc., etc., etc. 

935. To Thomas Moore. 

Ravenna, September 19, 1821. 

I am in all the sweat, dust, and blasphemy of an 
universal packing of all my things, furniture, etc., for 

I. " To the Irish Avatar " 
" Ere the daughter of Brunswick is cold in her grave," etc. 

The following sentence from a letter of Curran is prefixed as a 
motto : " And Ireland, like a bastinadoed elephant, kneeling to 
" receive the paltry rider" (Life of Curran, vol. ii. p. 336). At the 
end of the verses are these words : " (Signed) W. L. B * *, M.A., 
" and written with a view to a Bishoprick." Moore notes in his 
Diary for November 3, 1821 (Memoirs, etc., vol. iii. pp. 297, 298), 
" Received Lord B.'s tremendous verses against the King and the 
" Irish, for their late exhibition in Dublin ; richly deserved by my 
" servile countrymen, but not, on this occasion, by the King, who, 
" as far as he was concerned, acted well and wisely." Byron was 
indignant that George IV. should have made his triumphal entry 
into Dublin when his wife was lying dead in London. The king 
reached the Vice-Regal Lodge at Dublin, August 12 ; the queen's 
funeral procession left London for Harwich, August 14. 

1 82 1.] SWITZERLAND. 365 

Pisa, whither I go for the winter. The cause has been 
the exile of all my fellow Carbonics, and, amongst them, 
of the whole family of Madame G. ; who, you know, was 
divorced from her husband last week, "on account of 
" P.P. clerk of this parish," l and who is obliged to join 
her father and relatives, now in exile there, to avoid 
being shut up in a monastery, because the Pope's decree 
of separation required her to reside in casa paterna^ or 
else, for decorum's sake, in a convent. As I could not 
say with Hamlet, " Get thee to a nunnery," I am pre- 
paring to follow them. 

It is awful work, this love, and prevents all a man's 
projects of good or glory. I wanted to go to Greece 
lately (as every thing seems up here) with her brother, 
who is a very fine, brave fellow (I have seen him put to 
the proof), and wild about liberty. But the tears of a 
woman who has left her husband for a man, and the 
weakness of one's own heart, are paramount to these 
projects, and I can hardly indulge them. 

We were divided in choice between Switzerland and 
Tuscany, and I gave my vote for Pisa, as nearer the 
Mediterranean, which I love for the sake of the shores 
which it washes, and for my young recollections of 1809. 
Switzerland is a curst selfish, swinish country of brutes, 
placed in the most romantic region of the world. I 
never could bear the inhabitants, and still less their Eng- 
lish visitors ; for which reason, after writing for some 
information about houses, upon hearing that there was a 

I. An allusion to Pope's Memoirs of P.P., Clerk of this Parish. 
These Memoirs, which begin thus : "In the Name of the Lord. 
" Amen. I, P.P. by the grace of God Clerk of this Parish, writeth 
" this History," were supposed to be written in ridicule of Bishop 
Burnet's History of my own Times. Pope, in the Prolegomena to The 
Dunciad, denied this ; but see Courthope's edition of Pope's Works, 
vol. x. p. 435, note I. 


colony of English all over the cantons of Geneva, etc., I 
immediately gave up the thought, and persuaded the 
Gambas to do the same. 

By the last post I sent you " The Irish Avatar," 
what think you ? The last line " a name never spoke 
" but with curses or jeers " must run either " a name 
" only uttered with curses or jeers," or, " a wretch never 
"named but with curses or jeers." Becase as how, 
" spoke " is not grammar, except in the House of Com- 
mons ; and I doubt whether we can say " a name spoken" 
for mentioned. I have some doubts, too, about " repay," 
"and for murder repay with a shout and a smile." 
Should it not be, " and for murder repay him with shouts 
" and a smile," or " reward him with shouts and a 

So, pray put your poetical pen through the MS. and 
take the least bad of the emendations. Also, if there be 
any further breaking of Priscian's head, will you apply a 
plaster ? I wrote in the greatest hurry and fury, and sent 
it to you the day after ; so, doubtless, there will be some 
awful constructions, and a rather lawless conscription of 

With respect to what Anna Seward calls " the liberty 
"of transcript," when complaining of Miss Matilda 
Muggleton, the accomplished daughter of a choral vicar 
of Worcester Cathedral, who had abused the said " liberty 
"of transcript," by inserting in the Malvern Mercury 
Miss Seward's " Elegy on the South Pole," as her own 
production, with her own signature, two years after having 
taken a copy, by permission of the authoress with re- 
gard, I say, to the "liberty of transcript," I by no 
means oppose an occasional copy to the benevolent 
few, provided it does not degenerate into such licen- 
tiousness of Verb and Noun as may tend to " disparage 

1821.] "THE IRISH AVATAR." 367 

" my parts of speech " l by the carelessness of the 

I do not think that there is much danger of the 
" King's Press being abused " upon the occasion, if the 
publishers of journals have any regard for their remaining 
liberty of person. It is as pretty a piece of invective 
as ever put publisher in the way to " Botany." There- 
fore, if they meddle with it, it is at their peril. As for 
myself, I will answer any jontleman though I by no 
means recognise a " right of search " into an unpublished 
production and unavowed poem. The same applies to 
things published sans consent. I hope you like, at least 
the concluding lines of the Pome ? 

What are you doing, and where are you ? in England ? 
Nail Murray nail him to his own counter, till he shells 
out the thirteens. Since I wrote to you, I have sent him 
another tragedy Cain 2 by name making three in 

1. "There, sir, an attack upon my language! What do you 
" think of that ? an aspersion upon my parts of speech ! Was ever 
"such a brute ?" (Mrs. Malaprop, in The Rivals, act iii. sc. 3). 
" Was it you that reflected on my parts of speech? " (ibid., act iv. 
sc. 2). 

2. Byron, in a note to his Preface to Cain, says, " The reader 
"will perceive that the author has partly adopted in this poem the 
" notion of Cuvier, that the world had been destroyed several times 
"before the creation of man." 

The reference is to Cuvier's Discours sur les revolutions de la 
surface du globe, translated in 1813 by Robert Kerr, under the title 
of " Essay on the Theory of the Earth." Cuvier's words are (Dis- 
cours, etc., ed. 1825, p. 282) 

" Je pense done, avec MM. Deluc et Dolomieu, que, s'il y a quel- 

" que chose de constate en geologic, c'est que la surface de notre 

' globe a etc victime d'une grande et subite revolution, dont la 

' date ne peut remonter beaucoup au deli de cinq ou six mille ans ; 

' que cette revolution a enfonce et fait disparaitre les pays qu" 

' habitaient auparavant les hommes . . . qu'elle a, au contraire, 

' mis a sec le fond de la derniere mer, et en a forme les pays aujour- 

" d'hui habites . . . Mais ces pays aujourd'hui habites, et que la 

" derniere revolution a mis a sec, avaient deja etc habites aupara- 

" vant, si non par des hommes, du moins par des animaux terrestres : 

' ' par consequent une revolution precedente, au moins, les avail 

" mis sous les eaux ; et, si 1'on peut en juger par les differens ordres 


MS. now in his hands, or in the printer's. It is in the 
Manfred metaphysical style, and full of some Titanic 
declamation; Lucifer being one of the dram. per s.^ who 
takes Cain a voyage among the stars, and afterwards to 
" Hades," where he shows him the phantoms of a former 
world, and its inhabitants. I have gone upon the notion 
of Cuvier, that the world has been destroyed three or 
four times, and was inhabited by mammoths, behemoths, 
and what not ; but not by man till the Mosaic period, as, 
indeed, is proved by the strata of bones found; those 
of all unknown animals, and known, being dug out, but 
none of mankind. I have, therefore, supposed Cain to 
be shown, in the rational Preadamites, beings endowed 
with a higher intelligence than man, but totally unlike 
him in form, and with much greater strength of mind and 
person. You may suppose the small talk which takes 
place between him and Lucifer upon these matters is not 
quite canonical. 

The consequence is, that Cain comes back and kills 
Abel in a fit of dissatisfaction, partly with the politics of 
Paradise, which had driven them all out of it, and partly 
because (as it is written in Genesis) Abel's sacrifice 
was the more acceptable to the Deity. I trust that the 
Rhapsody has arrived it is in three acts, and entitled 
" A Mystery" according to the former Christian custom, 
and in honour of what it probably will remain to the reader. 

Yours, etc. 

'd'animaux dont on y trouve les depouilles, ils avaient peut-etre 
' subi jusqu'a deux ou trois irruptions de la mer." 

In August, 1829, Goethe at Weimar told Crabb Robinson 
Diary, vol. ii. p. 435, et seqq.) that " ' Byron should have lived to 
' execute his vocation.' ' And that was ? ' I asked. ' To dramatize 
' the Old Testament. What a subject under his hands would the 
' Tower of Babel have been ! ' He continued, ' You must not 
' take it ill ; but Byron was indebted for the profound views he took 
' of the Bible to the ennui he suffered from it at school ' (Goethe 
' calls ennui (Langeweile) the Mother of the Muses)." 

1821.] A MERE BUFFOONERY. 369 

936. To Thomas Moore. 

September 20, 1821. 

After the stanza on Grattan, concluding with "His 
"soul o'er the freedom implored and denied," will it 
please you to cause insert the following "Addenda," 
which I dreamed of during to-day's Siesta : 

Ever glorious Grattan ! etc., etc., etc. 

I will tell you what to do. Get me twenty copies of the 
whole carefully and privately printed off, as your lines 
were on the Naples affair. Send me six, and distribute 
the rest according to your own pleasure. 

I am in a fine vein, "so full of pastime and prodi- 
" gality ! " So here's to your health, in a glass of grog. 
Pray write, that I may know by return of post address 
to me at Pisa. The Gods give you joy ! 

Where are you? in Paris? Let us hear. You will 
take care that there be no printer's name, nor author's, as 
in the Naples stanza, at least for the present. 

937. To John Murray. 

R a . Sept r . 20 1 ! 1 1821. 

DEAR MURRAY, You need not send " The Bhies" 1 
which is a mere buffoonery, never meant for publication. 

The papers to which I allude, in case of Survivorship, 
are collections of letters, etc., since I was sixteen years 
old, contained in the trunks in the care of Mr. Hobhouse. 
This collection is at least doubled by those I have now 
here ; all received since my last Ostracism. To these I 
should wish the Editor to have access, not for the purpose 
of abusing confidences^ nor of hurting the feelings of 

I. The Blues : a Literary Eclogue was published in the Liberal, 
No. iii. pp. 1-2 1. 

VOL. V. 2 B 


correspondents living, or the memories of the dead ; but 
there are things which would do neither, that I have left 
unnoticed or unexplained, and which (like all such things) 
Time only can permit to be noticed or explained, though 
some are to my credit. The task will, of course, require 
delicacy; but that will not be wanting, if Moore and 
Hob house survive me, and, I may add, yourself; and 
that you may all three do so, is, I assure you, my very 
sincere wish. I am not sure that long life is desirable 
for one of my temper and constitutional depression of 
Spirits, which of course I suppress in society ; but which 
breaks out when alone, and in my writings, in spite of 
myself. It has been deepened, perhaps, by some long 
past events (I do not allude to my marriage, etc. on the 
contrary, that raised them by the persecution giving a 
fillip to my Spirits) ; but I call it constitutional, as I have 
reason to think it. You know, or you do not know, that 
my maternal Grandfather 1 (a very clever man, and 
amiable, I am told) was strongly suspected of Suicide 
(he was found drowned in the Avon at Bath), and that 
another very near relative of the same branch took 
poison, and was merely saved by antidotes. For the 
first of these events there was no apparent cause, as he 
was rich, respected, and of considerable intellectual 
resources, hardly forty years of age, and not at all ad- 
dicted to any unhinging vice. It was, however, but a 
strong suspicion, owing to the manner of his death and 
to his melancholy temper. The second had a cause, but 
it does not become me to touch upon it ; it happened 
when I was far too young to be aware of it, and I never 
heard of it till after the death of that relative, many years 

I. Byron's great-grandfather, Alexander Davidson Gordon, was 
drowned in the Ythan in 1 760, and his grandfather, George Gordon, 
in the canal at Bath in 1779. In both cases there was suspicion of 

l82I.] A VERY ODD FANCY. 371 

afterwards. I think, then, that I may call this dejection 
constitutional. I had always been told that in temper I 
more resembled my maternal Grandfather than any of 
my fathers family that is, in the gloomier part of his 
temper, for he was what you call a good natured man, 
and I am not. 

The Journal here I sent by Mawman to Moore the 
other day ; but as it is a mere diary, only parts of it would 
ever do for publication. The other Journal, of the tour 
in 1816, I should think Augusta might let you have a 
copy of; but her nerves have been in such a state since 
1815, that there is no knowing. Lady Byron's people, 
and L? Caroline Lamb's people, and a parcel of that set, 
got about her and frightened her with all sorts of hints 
and menaces, so that she has never since been able to 
write to me a clear common letter, and is so full of mysteries 
and miseries, that I can only sympathize, without always 
understanding her. All my loves, too, make a point of 
calling upon her, which puts her into a flutter (no diffi- 
cult matter); and, the year before last I think, Lady 
F. W. W. marched in upon her, and Lady O., a few 
years ago, spoke to her at a party ; and these and such 
like calamities have made her afraid of her shadow. It 
is a very odd fancy that they all take to her : it was only 
six months ago, that I had some difficulty in preventing 
the Countess G. from invading her with an Italian letter. 
I should like to have seen Augusta's face, with an Etruscan 
Epistle, and all its Meridional style of isstmas, and other 
superlatives, before her. 

I am much mortified that Gifford don't take to my new 
dramas : to be sure, they are as opposite to the English 
drama as one thing can be to another; but I have a 
notion that, if understood, they will in time find favour 
(though not on the stage) with the reader. The Simplicity 


of plot is intentional, and the avoidance of rant also, as 
also the compression of the Speeches in the more severe 
situations. What I seek to show in The Foscaris is the 
suppressed passion, rather than the rant of the present 
day. For that matter 

" Nay, if thou'lt mouth, 
I'll rant as well as them " 

would not be difficult, as I think I have shown in my 
younger productions not dramatic ones, to be sure. 
But, as I said before, I am mortified that Gifford don't 
like them; but I see no remedy, our notions on the 
subject being so different. How is he ? well, I hope : 
let me know. I regret his demur the more that he has 
been always my grand patron, and I know no praise 
which would compensate me in my own mind for his 
censure. I do not mind reviews, as I can work them at 
their own weapons. 

Yours ever and truly, 


P.S. By the way, on our next settlement (which will 
take place with Mr. Kinnaird), you will please to deduct 
the various sums for books, packages received and sent, the 
bust, tooth-powder, etc., etc., expended by you on my 

Hobhouse, in his preface to " Rimini? will probably 
be better able to explain my dramatic system, than I 
could do, as he is well acquainted with the whole thing. 
It is more upon the Alfieri School than the English. 

I hope that we shall not have Mr. Rogers here : there 
is a mean minuteness in his mind and tittle-tattle that I 
dislike, ever since I found him out (which was but slowly) ; 
besides he is not a good man : why don't he go to bed ? 
What does he do travelling ? 


The Journal of 1814 I dare say Moore will give, or a 

Has Cain (the dramatic third attempt), arrived yet ? 
Let me know. 

Address to me at Pisa, whither I am going. The 
reason is, that all my Italian friends here have been 
exiled, and are met there for the present ; and I go to 
join them, as agreed upon, for the Winter. 

938. To John Murray. 

Ravenna, September 24^ 1821. 

DEAR MURRAY, I have been thinking over our late 
correspondence, and wish to propose to you the following 
articles for our future : 

jstiy That you shall write to me of yourself, of the 
health, wealth, and welfare of all friends ; but of me (quoad 
me) little or nothing. 

2 d ! y That you shall send me Soda powders, tooth- 
powder, tooth-brushes, or any such anti-odontalgic or 
chemical articles, as heretofore, ad libitum, upon being 
re-imbursed for the same. 

3 d ! y That you shall not send me any modern, or (as 
they are called) new, publications in English whatsoever, 
save and excepting any writing, prose or verse, of (or 
reasonably presumed to be of) Walter Scott, Crabbe, 
Moore, Campbell, Rogers, Gifford, Joanna Baillie, Irving 
(the American), Hogg, Wilson (Isle of Palms Man), or 
any especial single work of fancy which is thought to be 
of considerable merit ; Voyages and travels, provided that 
they are neither in Greece, Spain, Asia Minor, Albania, 
nor Italy, will be welcome : having travelled the countries 
mentioned, I know that what is said of them can convey 
nothing further which I desire to know about them. No 
other English works whatsoever. 


4 tl ! ly That you send me no periodical works whatsoever 
no Edinburgh^ Quarterly ', Monthly, nor any Review, Maga- 
zine, Newspaper, English or foreign, of any description. 

gthiy T nat y OU sen( j me no opinions whatsoever, either 
good, bad, or indifferent, of yourself, or your friends, or 
others, concerning any work, or works, of mine, past, 
present, or to come. 

gthiy That a |i negotiations in matters of business be- 
tween you and me pass through the medium of the 
Hon b ' e Douglas Kinnaird, my friend and trustee, or Mr. 
Hobhouse, as Alter Ego, and tantamount to myself 
during my absence, or presence. 

Some of these propositions may at first seem strange, 
but they are founded. The quantity of trash I have 
received as books is incalculable, and neither amused nor 
instructed. Reviews and Magazines are at the best but 
ephemeral and superficial reading : who thinks of the 
grand article of last year in any given review ? in the next 
place, if they regard myself, they tend to increase Egotism ; 
if favourable, I do not deny that the praise elates, and if 
unfavourable, that the abuse irritates the latter may 
conduct me to inflict a species of Satire, which would 
neither do good to you nor to your friends : they may 
smile now, and so may you ; but if I took you all in 
hand, it would not be difficult to cut you up like gourds. 
I did as much by as powerful people at nineteen years 
old, and I know little as yet, in three and thirty, which 
should prevent me from making all your ribs Gridirons 
for your hearts, if such were my propensity. But it is 
not. Therefore let me hear none of your provocations. 
If any thing occurs so very gross as to require my notice, 
I shall hear of it from my personal friends. For the 
rest, I merely request to be left in ignorance. 

The same applies to opinions, good, bad, or indifferent, 


of persons in conversation or correspondence : these do 
not interrupt, but they soil the current of my Mind, I 
am sensitive enough, but not till I am touched; and here 
I am beyond the touch of the short arms of literary 
England, except the few feelers of the Polypus that crawl 
over the Channel in the way of Extract. 

All these precautions in England would be useless : 
the libeller or the flatterer would there reach me in spite 
of all ; but in Italy we know little of literary England, 
and think less, except what reaches us through some 
garbled and brief extract in some miserable Gazette. 
For two years (excepting two or three articles cut out and 
sent to you, by the post) I never read a newspaper which 
was not forced upon me by some accident, and know, 
upon the whole, as little of England as you all do of 
Italy, and God knows that is little enough, with all your 
travels, etc., etc., etc. The English travellers know Italy 
as you know Guernsey : how much is that? 

If any thing occurs so violently gross or personal as 
to require notice, Mr. D s - Kinnaird will let me know ; but 
of praise I desire to hear nothing. 

You will say, " to what tends all this ? " I will answer 
THAT; to keep my mmdfree and unbiassed by all paltry 
and personal irritabilities of praise or censure; to let 
my Genius take its natural direction, while my feelings 
are like the dead, who know nothing and feel nothing of 
all or aught that is said or done in their regard. 

If you can observe these conditions, you will spare 
yourself and others some pain : let me not be worked 
upon to rise up ; for if I do, it will not be for a little : if 
you can not observe these conditions, we shall cease to 
be correspondents, but not friends ; for I shall always be 

Yours ever and truly, 



P.S. I have taken these resolutions not from any 
irritation against you or yours, but simply upon reflection 
that all reading, either praise or censure, of myself has 
done me harm. When I was in Switzerland and Greece, 
I was out of the way of hearing either, and how I wrote 
tJiere ! In Italy I am out of the way of it too; but 
latterly, partly through my fault, and partly through your 
kindness in wishing to send me the newest and most 
periodical publications, I have had a crowd of reviews, 
etc., thrust upon me, which have bored me with their 
jargon, of one kind or another, and taken off my attention 
from greater objects. You have also sent me a parcel of 
trash of poetry, for no reason that I can conceive, unless 
to provoke me to write a new English Bards. Now 
this I wish to avoid ; for if ever I do, it will be a strong 
production ; and I desire peace, as long as the fools will 
keep their nonsense out of my way. 

939. To John Murray. 

Sepf. 27'!' 1821. 

DEAR MURRAY, Give the enclosed to Moore when 
he comes over, as he is about to do. It contains some- 
thing for you to look at, but not for publication. Address 
to Pisa. 

I thought Ricciardetto was Rose's, but pray thank Lord 
Glenbervie * therefor. He is an old and kind friend of 

I. Lord Glenbervie's translation, The First Canto of Ricciardetto, 
translated from the Italian of Forteguerri, etc., was privately printed 
in 1821. It was published with the translator's name in 1822. 
By his wife, the Hon. Catherine Anne North, daughter of Lord 
North, the Prime Minister, he had one son, the Hon. Frederick 
Sylvester North Douglas (born 1791, died 1819). Frederick Douglas 
is called by Byron "the modern Greek," because of his Essay on 
Certain Points of Resemblance between the Ancient and Modern Greeks 


mine, if it be the old man you mean. Is the young one 
dead or alive ? I mean the " modern Greek " Frederick 
S. Douglas? 

Moore and you can settle between you about the 
" Memoranda : " / can only do what I can to accommo- 
date arrangements, as fixed between you, which I shall 
do readily and cheerfully. 

Yours in haste, 


P.S. Is Cain arrived? He was sent on the n? in 
three packets. Did you get a new Italian account of M. 
Faliero's Conspiracy for a note, sent two months ago by 
the post ? and printed for the first time ? 

940. To Thomas Moore. 

September 27, 1821. 

It was not Murray's fault. I did not send the MS. 
overture, but I send it now, 1 and it may be restored; or, 
at any rate, you may keep the original, and give any 
copies you please. I send it, as written, and as I read 
it to you I have no other copy. 

By last week's two posts, in two packets, I sent to 
your address, at Paris, a longish poem upon the late 
Irishism of your countrymen in their reception of the 
King. Pray, have you received it ? It is in " the high 
" Roman fashion," and full of ferocious phantasy. As you 
could not well take up the matter with Paddy (being of 
the same nest), I have j but I hope still that I have 
done justice to his great men and his good heart. As 

I. "The lines 'Oh Wellington,' which I had missed in their 
' original place at the opening of the Third Canto, and took for 
" granted that they had been suppressed by his publisher" (Moore). 


for Castlereagh you will find it laid on with a trowel. I 
delight in your " fact historical " l is it a fact ? 

Yours, etc. 

P.S. You have not answered me about Schlegel 
why not ? Address to me at Pisa, whither I am going, 
to join the exiles a pretty numerous body at present. 
Let me hear how you are, and what you mean to do. Is 
there no chance of your recrossing the Alps ? If the G. 
Rex marries again, let him not want an Epithalamium 
suppose a joint concern of you and me, like Sternhold 
and Hopkins ! 

941. To John Murray. 

Sept? 28^ 1821. 

DEAR MORAY, I add another cover to request you 
to ask Moore to obtain (if possible) my letters to the late 
Lady Melbourne from Lady Cowper. They are very 
numerous, and ought to have been restored long ago, as 
I was ready to give back Lady M.'s in exchange : these 
latter are in Mr. Hobhouse's custody with my other 
papers, and shall be punctually restored if required. I 
did not choose before to apply to Lady Cowper, as her 
mother's death naturally kept me from intruding upon 
her feelings at the time of its occurrence. Some years 
have now elapsed, and it is essential that I should have 
my own epistles. They are essential as confirming that 
part of the " Memoranda " which refer to the two periods 
(1812 and 1814) when my marriage with her niece was 

I. Perhaps the " fact historical " is a story told by Moore, in his 
Diary for August 23, 1821 (Metnoirs, vol. iii. p. 270). Sir E. Nagle 
announced the death of Napoleon to George IV. by " saying, ' I have 
" the pleasure to tell your Majesty that your bitterest enemy is dead.' 
" ' No ! is she, by God ? ' said the King. Put this into verse 

l82I.] A HINT OR TWO. 379 

in contemplation, and will tend to show what my real 
views and feelings were upon that subject, which have 
been so variously represented. You need not let this 
motive be stated to L? C r - , as it in no degree concerns 
tier particularly ; but if they refuse to give them up (or 
keep back any recollect that they are in great quantity), 
it would become the duty of the Editor and my Executors 
to refer to parts of Lady Melbourne's letters so that the 
thing is as broad as it is long. They involve also many 
other topics, which may or may not be referred to, 
according to the discretion of Moore, etc., when the time 

You need not be alarmed : the "fourteen years " l will 
hardly elapse without some mortality amongst us ; it is a 
long lease of life to speculate upon. So your Cent per 
Cent Shylock Calculation will not be in so much peril, as 
the " Argosie " will sink before that time, and " the pound 
" of flesh " be withered previously to your being so long 
out of a return. 

I also wish to give you a hint or two (as you have 
really behaved very handsomely to M. in the business, 
and are a fine fellow in your line) for your advantage. 
If by your own management you can extract any of my 
epistles from \2 Caroline Lamb (mind she don't give you 
forgeries in my hand : she has done as much you know 
before now) they might be of use in your collection 
(sinking of course the names and all such circumstances as 
might hurt living feelings, or those of survivors); they 
treat of more topics than love occasionally. 

As to those to other correspondents (female, etc.), 
there are plenty scattered about in the world ; but how 
to direct you to recover them, I know not : most of them 
have kept them I hear at least that L? O., and F. W. 

I. See p. 271, note 2. 


have kept theirs; but these letters are of course inac- 
cessible (and perhaps not desirable), as well as those of 
some others. 

I will tell you who may happen to have some letters 
of mine in their possession : Lord Powerscourt, some to 
his late brother ; Mr. Long of (I forget his place) but 
the father of Edward Long of the Guards, who was 
drowned in going to Lisbon early in 1809 ; Miss Elizabeth 
Pigot, of Southwell, Notts (she may be Mistress by this 
time, for she had more years than I) : they were not love- 
letters, so that you might have them without scruple. 
There are, or might be, some to the late Rev? J. C. 
Tattersall, in the hands of his brother (half-brother) 
Mr. Wheatley, who resides near Canterbury, I think. 
There are some to Charles Gordon, now of Dulwich ; 
and some few to Mrs. Chaworth; but these latter are 
probably destroyed or inaccessible. 

All my letters to Lady B., before and since her mar- 
riage, are in her possession, as well as her own which I 
sent to her : she had not the courtesy to restore me mine ; 
but never mind ; though they were too much to my credit 
for her to give them back, we can do without them. 

I mention these people and particulars merely as 
chances: most of them have probably destroyed the 
letters, which in fact were of little import, most of them 
written when very young, and several at School and 

Peel (the second brother of the Secretary) was a cor- 
respondent of mine, and also Porter, the son of the 
Bishop of Clogher ; Lord Clare a very voluminous one ; 
William Harness (a friend of Jew Milman's) another; 
Charles Drummond (son of the Banker) ; William Bankes 
(the Voyager) ; your friend R. C. Dallas, Esq r ?. Hodgson, 
Henry Drury, Hobhouse, you were already aware of. 


I have gone through this long list l of 

" The cold, the faithless, and the dead," * 

because I know that, like " the curious in fish sauce," 
you are a researcher of such things. 

Besides these, there are other occasional ones to 
literary men and so forth, complimentary, etc., etc., etc., 
not worth much more than the rest. There are some 
hundreds, too, of Italian notes of mine, scribbled with a 
noble contempt of the grammar and dictionary, and in 
very English Etruscan ; for I speak Italian very fluently, 
but write it carelessly and incorrectly to a degree. 

942. To Thomas Moore. 

September 29, 1821. 

I send you two rough things, prose and verse, not 
much in themselves, but which will show, one of them, 

1. " To all the persons upon this list who were accessible, applica- 
1 tion has, of course, been made, with what success it is in the 
' reader's power to judge from the communications that have been 
' laid before him. Among the companions of the poet's boyhood 
' there are (as I have already had occasion to mention and regret) 
' but few traces of his youthful correspondence to be found ; and of 
' all those who knew him at that period, his fair Southwell corre- 
' spondent alone seems to have been sufficiently endowed with the 
' gift of second-sight to anticipate the Byron of a future day, and 
' foresee the compound interest that Time and Fame would accumu- 
' late on every precious scrap of the young bard which she hoarded. 
' On the whole, however, it is not unsatisfactory to be able to state 
' that, with the exception of a very small minority (only one of 
' whom is possessed of any papers of much importance), every dis- 
' tinguished associate and intimate of the noble poet, from the very 
' outset to the close of his extraordinary career, has come forward 
' cordially to communicate whatever memorials they possessed of 
' him, trusting, as I am willing to flatter myself, that he confided 
' these treasures to one, who, if not able to do full justice to the 
' memory of their common friend, would, at least, not willingly 
' suffer it to be dishonoured in his hands " (Moore). 

2. " They come, in dim procession led, 

The cold, the faithless, and the dead." 

The Lady of the Lake, Canto I. stanza xxxiii. 


the state of the country, and the other, of your friend's 
mind, when they were written. Neither of them were 
sent to the person concerned, but you will see, by the 
style of them, that they were sincere, as I am in signing 

Yours ever and truly, 

Of the two enclosures, one was a letter intended to be sent to 
Lady Byron, from which Moore (.Life, p. 534) made the following 
extracts : 

943. To Lady Byron. 

Ravenna, Marza I mo, 1821. 

I have received your message, through my sister's 
letter, about English security, etc., etc. It is considerate, 
(and true, even,) that such is to be found but not that I 
shall find it. Mr. * *, for his own views and purposes, 
will thwart all such attempts till he has accomplished his 
own, viz. to make me lend my fortune to some client of 
his choosing. 

At this distance after this absence, and with my 
utter ignorance of affairs and business with my temper 
and impatience, I have neither the means nor the mind 
to resist * * * * Thinking of the funds as I do, and 
wishing to secure a reversion to my sister and her children, 
I should jump at most expedients. 

What I told you is come to pass the Neapolitan war 
is declared. Your funds will fall, and I shall be in con- 
sequence ruined. That's nothing but my blood relations 
will be so. You and your child are provided for. Live 
and prosper I wish so much to both. Live and prosper 
you have the means. I think but of my real kin and 
kindred, who may be the victims of this accursed bubble. 

1 82 1.] A CHARITY BALL. 383 

You neither know nor dream of the consequences of 
this war. It is a war of men with monarchs, and will 
spread like a spark on the dry, rank grass of the vegetable 
desert. What it is with you and your English, you do 
not know, for ye sleep. What it is with us here, I know, 
for it is before, and around, and within us. 

Judge of my detestation of England and of all that it 
inherits, when I avoid returning to your country at a time 
when not only my pecuniary interests, but, it may be, even 
my personal security, require it. I can say no more, for 
all letters are opened. A short time will decide upon 
what is to be done here, and then you will learn it with- 
out being more troubled with me or my correspondence. 
Whatever happens, an individual is little, so the cause is 

I have no more to say to you on the score of affairs, 
or on any other subject. 

The second enclosure consisted of some verses, written by Byron, 
December 10, 1820, on seeing the following paragraph in a news- 
paper : " Lady Byron is this year the Lady Patroness of the Annual 
" Charity Ball given in the Town Hall at Hinckley, hi Leicestershire, 
"and Sir George Crewe, Bart., the principal Steward." The para- 
graph will be found in the Morning Chronicle for Tuesday, Novem- 
ber 21, 1820. From these verses, Moore prints the following : 

What matter the pangs of a husband and father, 
If his sorrows in exile be great or be small, 

So the Pharisee's glories around her she gather, 
And the saint patronises her " Charity Ball." 

What matters a heart, which though faulty was feeling, 
Be driven to excesses which once could appal 

That the sinner should suffer is only fair dealing, 
As the saint keeps her charity back for " the Ball," 
etc., etc. 


944. To Thomas Moore. 

September no October I, 1821. 

I have written to you lately, both in prose and verse, 
at great length, to Paris and London. I presume that 
Mrs. Moore, or whoever is your Paris deputy, will forward 
my packets to you in London. 

I am setting off for Pisa, if a slight incipient inter- 
mittent fever do not prevent me. I fear it is not strong 
enough to give Murray much chance of realising his 
thirteens again. I hardly should regret it, I think, pro- 
vided you raised your price upon him as what Lady 
Holderness 1 (my sister's grandmother, a Dutchwoman) 
used to call Augusta, her Residee Legatoo so as to pro- 
vide for us all : my bones with a splendid and larmoy- 
ante edition, and you with double what is extractable 
during my lifetime. 

I have a strong presentiment that (bating some out of 
the way accident) you will survive me. The difference 
of eight years, or whatever it is, between our ages, is 
nothing. I do not feel (nor am, indeed, anxious to feel) 
the principle of life in me tend to longevity. My father 
and mother died, the one at thirty-five or six, and the 
other at forty-five ; and Dr. Rush, or somebody else, says 
that nobody lives long, without having one parent, at least, 
an old stager. 

I should, to be sure, like to see out my eternal mother- 
in-law, not so much for her heritage, but from my natural 
antipathy. But the indulgence of this natural desire is 
too much to expect from the Providence who presides 
over old women. I bore you with all this about lives, 
because it has been put in my way by a calculation of 

I. See Letters, vol. i. p. 18, note i. Mary, daughter of Francis 
Doublet, Member of the States of Holland, married in 1743 Robert 
D'Arcy, fourth and last Earl of Holderness. 


insurances which Murray has sent me. I really think 
you should have more, if I evaporate within a reasonable 

I wonder if my Cain has got safe to England. I 
have written since about sixty stanzas of a poem, in 
octave stanzas, (in the Pulci style, which the fools in 
England think was invented by Whistlecraft it is as old 
as the hills in Italy,) called T/ie Vision of Judgment? by 
Quevedo Redivivus, with this motto 

" A Daniel come to judgment, yea, a Daniel : 
I thank thee, Jew, for teaching me that word." 

In this it is my intent to put the said George's Apo- 
theosis in a Whig point of view, not forgetting the Poet 
Laureate for his preface and his other demerits. 

I am just got to the pass where Saint Peter, hearing 
that the royal defunct had opposed Catholic Emancipa- 
tion, rises up, and, interrupting Satan's oration, declares 
he will change places with Cerberus sooner than let him 
into heaven, while he has the keys thereof. 

I must go and ride, though rather feverish and chilly. 
It is the ague season ; but the agues do me rather good 
than harm. The feel after the fit is as if one had got rid 
of one's body for good and all. 

The gods go with you ! Address to Pisa. 

Ever yours. 

I. The Vision of Judgment was published as Article I. in the first 
number of The Liberal : Verse and Prose from the South (London, 
1822). Goethe (Crabb Robinson's Diary, vol. ii. p. 437) delighted 
in the poem, and characterized the verses on George IV. as the 
" sublime of hatred." Francisco Gomez de Quevedo Villegas (1580- 
1645), the Spanish satirist, " the scourge of silly poets," published 
his five Sueilos (Visions) in 1627. The first, El Suefto de las Cavalleras 
(the Vision of the Skulls), is a picture of the Last Judgment and a 
satire on human vice. Quevedo's Visions were translated by, among 
others, Sir R. L'Estrange in 1667 ; but the version printed in the 
Edinburgh edition (3 vols., 1798) of Quevedo's Select Works is that 
of an anonymous translator. 

VOL. V. 2 C 


P.S. Since I came back, I feel better, though I 
stayed out too late for this malaria season, under the thin 
crescent of a very young moon, and got off my horse to 
walk in an avenue with a Signora for an hour. I thought 
of you and 

" When at eve thou rovest 
By the star thou lovest." l 

But it was not in a romantic mood, as I should have been 
once ; and yet it was a new woman, (that is, new to me,) 
and, of course, expected to be made love to. But I 
merely made a few common-place speeches. I feel, as 
your poor friend Curran said, before his death, " a moun- 
" tain of lead upon my heart," 2 which I believe to be 
constitutional, and that nothing will remove it but the 
same remedy. 

945. To John Murray. 

Oct r . 4'! 1 1821. 

DEAR MURRAY, I send you in 8 sheets, and 106 
stanzas (octave), a poem entitled a Vision of Judgement, 
etc., by Quevedo Redivivus, of which you will address 
the proof to me at Pisa, and an answer by return of post. 
Pray, let the Printer be as careful as he can to decypher 
it, which may be not so easy. 

It may happen that you will be afraid to publish it : 
in that case, find me a publisher, assuring him that, if he 

1. These lines begin the second stanza of " Go where glory waits 
" thee" (Moore's Irish Melodies, No. I.). 

2. Curran died October 14, 1817. " His spirits were now in a state 
' of the most distressing depression. He complained of having ' a 
' mountain of lead upon his heart.' This despondency he increased 
' by dwelling perpetually upon the condition of Ireland, which his 
' imagination was for ever representing to him as doomed to endless 
' divisions and degradation " (Life of the Right Hon. J. P. Curran, 

ed. 1819, vol. ii. p. 381). 


gets into a scrape, I will give up my name or person. I 
do not approve of your mode of not putting publisher's 
names on title pages (which was unheard of, till you gave 
yourself that air) : an author's case is different, and from 
time immemorial have (sic) published anonymously. 
I wait to hear the arrival of various packets. 


Address to Pisa. 

946. To Thomas Moore. 

October 6, 1821. 

By this post I have sent my nightmare to balance the 
incubus of Southey's impudent anticipation of the Apo- 
theosis of George the Third. 1 I should like you to take 
a look over it, as I think there are two or three things in 
it which might please " our puir hill folk." 

By the last two or three posts I have written to you 
at length. My ague bows to me every two or three days, 
but we are not as yet upon intimate speaking terms. I 
have an intermittent generally every two years, when the 
climate is favourable (as it is here), but it does me no 
harm. What I find worse, and cannot get rid of, is the 
growing depression of my spirits, without sufficient cause. 
I ride I am not intemperate in eating or drinking and 
my general health is as usual, except a slight ague, which 
rather does good than not. It must be constitutional; 
for I know nothing more than usual to depress me to that 

How do you manage ? I think you told me, at Venice, 
that your spirits did not keep up without a little claret. 
I. Southey's Vision of Judgment appeared in 1821. 


I can drink, and bear a good deal of wine (as you may 
recollect in England) ; but it don't exhilarate it makes 
me savage and suspicious, and even quarrelsome. Lau- 
danum has a similar effect ; but I can take much of *'/ 
without any effect at all. The thing that gives me the 
highest spirits (it seems absurd, but true) is a dose of 
salts I mean in the afternoon, after their effect. But 
one can't take them like champagne. 

Excuse this old woman's letter; but my lemancholy 
don't depend upon health, for it is just the same, well or 
ill, or here or there. 

Yours, etc. 

947. To John Murray. 

R a . Oct r . e 9'. h 1821. 

DEAR MORAY, You will please to present or convey 
the enclosed poem 1 to Mr. Moore : I sent him another 
copy to Paris, but he has probably left that city. 

It is doubtful whether the poem was written by Felicia 
Hemans for the prize of the Dartmoor Academy, or by 
the Rev d . W. L. Bowles with a view to a bishopric : your 
own great discernment will decide between them. 

By last post I sent the Vision of fiidgement by Quevedo 
Redivivus. I just piddle a little with these trifles to keep 
my hand in for the new English Bards, etc., which I per- 
ceive some of your people are in want of, and which I 
only wait for a short visit to your country, to put me 
more in possession of the nonsense of some of your 
newer ragamuffins, to commence. I have not sought it; 
but if I do begin, it shall go hard, as Shylock says, " but 
" I better the Instruction." 

Yours ever, 

i. "The Irish Avatar." 


Address to Pisa, 1 and acknowledge all packets by 
name else it makes confusion. 

i. Byron, however, lingered at Ravenna a fortnight longer. All 
was ready for him at Pisa, and, as the following letter (from Shelley 
shows, the Countess Guiccioli was beginning to despair of his ever 
leaving Ravenna : 

"Pisa, Oct r . 21, 1821. 

" MY DEAR LORD BYRON, I should have written to you long 
" since but that I have been led to expect you almost daily in Pisa, 
" and that I imagined you would cross my letter on your road. 

" Many thanks for Don Juan. It is a poem totally of its own 
" species, and my wonder and delight at the grace of the composition 
" no less than the free and grand vigour of the conception of it per- 
" petually increase. The few passages which any one might desire 
" to be cancelled in the I s ,' and 2'l d Cants, are here reduced almost 
" to nothing. This poem carries with it at once the stamp of 
" originality and a defiance of imitation. Nothing has ever been 
" written like it in English, nor, if I may venture to prophesy, will 
" there be, without carrying upon it the mark of a secondary and 
" borrowed light. You unveil and present in its true deformity what 
" is worst in human nature, and this is what the witlings of the age 
" murmur at, conscious of their want of power to endure the scrutiny 
" of such a light. We are damned to the knowledge of good and 
"evil, and it is well for us to know what we should avoid no less 
" than what we should seek. 

" The character of Lambro, his return, the merriment of his 
" daughter's guests, made, as it were, in celebration of his funeral, the 
" meeting with the lovers, and the death of Haidee, are circumstances 
" combined and developed in a manner that I seek elsewhere in vain. 
" The fifth Canto, which some of your pet Zoili in Albemarle S*. 
" said was dull, gathers instead of loses, splendour and energy : the 
" language in which the whole is clothed a sort of cameleon under 
"the changing sky of the spirit that kindles it is such as these 
" lisping days could not have expected, and are, believe me, in spite 
" of the approbation which you wrest from them, little pleased to 
" hear. 

" One can hardly judge from recitation, and it was not until I read 
"it in print that I have been able to do it justice. This sort of 
" writing only on a great plan, and perhaps in a more compact form, 
" is what I wished you to do when I made my vows for an epic. 

" But I am content. You are building up a drama, such as 
" England has not yet seen, and the task is sufficiently noble and 
" worthy of you. 

" When may we expect you ? The Countess G. is very patient, 
" though sometimes she seems apprehensive that you will never leave 
" Ravenna. 

" I have suffered from my habitual disorder and from a tertian 
" fever since I returned, and my ill health has prevented me from 
" shewing her the attentions I could have desired in Pisa. 


P.S. If there is anything new of Israel's, send it me. 
I like Israeli : i st ! y he " having done the handsome 
" thing by me," as Winifred Jenkins says, when you 
showed him (you shabby fellow !) my marginal notes in 
Athens upon his Essay instead of being angry like a 
spoilt child of ink and paper; and 2 nc ! ly , because he is 
the Bayle of literary speculation, and puts together more 
amusing information than anybody; and 3 d . Iy , he likes 

Don't forget to send me my first act of Werner (if 
Hobhouse can find it amongst my papers) send it by 
the post (to Pisa) ; and also cut out Sophia Lee's " Ger- 
" man's tale," 1 from the Canterbury Tales, and send it in 
a letter also. 

" I have heard from Hunt, who tells me that he is coming out in 
" November, by sea I believe. 

" Your house is ready and all the furniture arranged. Lega, they 
" say, is to have set off yesterday. 

" The Countess tells me that you think of leaving Allegra for the 
' present at the convent. Do as you think best ; but I can pledge 
' myself to find a situation for her here such as you would approve, 
' in case you change your mind. 

" I hear no political news but such as announces the slow victory 
' of the spirit of the past over that of the present. The other day, 
' a number of Heteristi, escaped from the defeat in Wallachia, past 
' through Pisa, to embark at Leghorn and join Ipsilanti in Livadia. 
' It is highly to the credit of the actual government of Tuscany, that 
' it allowed these poor fugitives 3 livres a day each, and free quarters 
' during their passage through these states. 
" Mrs. S. desires her best regards. 

"My dear Lord Byron, yours most faithfully, 

" P. B. SHELLEY." 

I. "Kruitzner, or the German's Tale," by Harriet Lee, was 

fublished in vol. iv. of the second edition of the Canterbury Tales 
1801) of Harriet and Sophia Lee. The parallel passages between 
the Tale and Werner are given in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine 
(vol. xii. pp. 713-719). 

The first act of Werner, which Byron wrote in 1815, and which 
could not be found in 1821, will be published in vol. v. of Byron's 
Works (Poems) from the MS. in Mr. Murray's possession. The 
play, as published in 1823, was printed from a MS. in Mrs. Shelley's 

The Hon. F. Leveson Gower (Ninetemth Century, August, 1899) 


I began that tragedy in 1815, but Lady Byron's farce 
put it out of my head for the time of her representation. 

By the way, you have a good deal of my prose tracts 
in MSS. Let me have proofs of them all again I mean 
the controversial ones, including the last two or three years 
of time. Another question. The Epistle of St. Paul, 
which I translated from the Armenian for what reason 
have you kept it back, though you published that stuff 
which gave rise to The Vampire! Is it because you are 
afraid to print any thing in opposition to the Cant of 
the Quarterly about " Manicheism " ? Let me have a 
proof of that Epistle directly. I am a better Christian 
than those parsons of yours, though not paid for being so. 

Send Faber's Treatise on the " Cabiri." 

Sainte-Croix's "Mysteres du Paganisme" (scarce, 
perhaps, but to be found, as Mitford refers to his work 

A common Bible, of a good legible print (bound in 
Russia). I have one ; but as it was the last gift of my 
Sister (whom I shall probably never see again), I can 
only use it carefully, and less frequently, because I like 
to keep it in good order. Don't forget this, for I am a 
great reader and admirer of those books, and had read 
them through and through before I was eight years old, 
that is to say, the Old Testament, for the New struck me 
as a task, but the other as a pleasure. I speak as a boy, 
from the recollected impression of that period at Aberdeen 
in 1796. 

Any novels of Scott, or poetry of the same. Ditto of 

maintains that the play, which Murray published in 1823 as Byron's, 
was really written by his grandmother, Georgiana, Duchess of 
Devonshire, and given by her to Lady Caroline Lamb, and by 
Lady Caroline to Byron. (See also Literature, August 12, 19, 26, 
1899.) The subject will be fully discussed in vol. v. of Byron's 


Crabbe, Moore, and the Elect ; but none of your damned 
commonplace trash, unless something starts up of actual 
merit, which may very well be, for 'tis time it should. 

" Plutarch's Morals, etc.," in the old English translation. 
" Gillies' Greece," and interval between Alexander and 
Augustus (I have Mitford), in Octavo, if possible I can't 
read quartos. 

" Life of Apollonius of Tyana," published (or trans- 
lated) 8 or nine (9) years ago. 

" Leslie's Short and Easy Method with the Deists." 
I want a Bayle, but am afraid of the carriage and the 
weight, as also of folios in general. 

" Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy." 1 

948. To John Murray. 

Oct r . 20^ 1821. 

DEAR MORAY, j^the errors are in the MSS., write 
me down an Ass: they are not, and I am content to 
undergo any penalty if they be. Besides, the omitted 
Stanza (last but one or two), sent afterwards, was that in 
the MSS. too ? 

Have you received a printed sheet or two from an 
old MSS., as a note to The Doge? sent two months ago ? 
I am anxious about that. 

As to " honour" I will trust no man's honour in affairs 
of barter. I will tell you why. A state of bargain is 
Hobbes's " state of Nature a state of war." 2 It is so 
with all men. If I come to a friend, and say, " friend, 

1. In a letter, dated November 14, Murray writes, " I have now 
" sent you all the books you wrote for, and amongst them your own 
' ' copy of Burton, which I got at your sale. The bible I have sent 
" you is one with a selection of the best commentaries." 

2. " Negari non potest, quin status hominum naturalis, antequam 
" in societatem coiretur, bellum fuerit " (Hobbes, De Give, Libertas, 
cap. i. 12). 


" lend me five hundred pounds ! " he either does it, or 
says that he can't or won't ; but if I come to Ditto, and say, 
" Ditto, I have an excellent house, or horse, or carriage, 
"or MSS., or books, or pictures, or, etc., etc., etc., etc., 
" etc., honestly worth a thousand pounds, you shall have 
" them for five hundred," what does Ditto say ? Why, he 
looks at them, he hums, he 7ia's, he humbiigs^ if he can, 
to get a bargain as cheaply as he can, because it is a 
bargain : this is in the blood and bone of mankind ; and 
the same man who would lend another a thousand 
pounds without interest, would not buy a horse of him 
for half its value if he could help it. It is so : there's no 
denying it ; and therefore I will have as much as I can, 
and you will give as little. And there's an end. All men 
are intrinsical rascals, and I am only sorry that, not being 
a dog, I can't bite them. 

So, Thomas M[oore] is in town incog. : love to him. 
I except him from my regretted morsures, for I have 
always found him the pink of honour and honesty : 
besides I liked his country till its late performance. 

By the way, did Mawman or Mawman's friend deliver 
to him the two MSS. Books consigned for him ? This 
is your concern, so anatomize Mawman about it. They 
belong to your posthumous adventure, that is to say, to 

I am filling another * for you with little anecdotes, to 
my own knowledge, or well authenticated, of Sheridan, 
Curran, etc., and such other public men as I recollect to 
have been acquainted with, for I knew most of them 
more or less. I will do what I can to prevent your 
losing by my obsequies. 

Acknowledge packets. 


i. The contents of this book are printed in Chap. XXIII. 


P.S. Address to Pisa. 

P.S. Acknowledge Vision of Judgement by Quevedo 
Redivivus, sent on the pth; also "The Irish Avatar" 
(for Mr. Moore), put in the letter-bag afterwards, a day 
or two. 

949. To Samuel Rogers. 1 

Ravenna, Oct. 21 s . 1 1821. 

DEAR ROGERS, I shall be (the Gods willing) in 
Bologna on Saturday next. This is a curious answer to 
your letter; but I have taken a house in Pisa for the 

I. Rogers, who left England in August, 1821, reached Venice in 

October. Thence he wrote to Byron, proposing to visit him at 

Ravenna (Clayden's Rogers and his Contemporaries, vol. i. p. 319). 

They met at Bologna. On the road to Bologna from Ravenna 

Byron met Lord Clare. See Detached Thoughts, p. 455 (91) and 

p. 462 (113). "At Bologna," writes Rogers from Florence to his 

sister, November n, 1821 (ibid., pp. 320, 323), "I waited a day 

' for Lord Byron, and crossed the Apennines with him. Our party 

' consisted of a dog, a cat, a hawk, an old gondolier from Venice, 

' and other sundries. His Foscari is already printed, and will, I 

' fear, get the start of us. ... Lord Byron is gone to live at Pisa. 

' He spent only one day here. I wish you had seen him set off, 

' every window of the inn was open to see him. ... I received a 

' visit from our old friend the poet, with his book. Lord Byron 

' amused himself with writing a sonnet for him, in which he makes 

' him describe himself as a bore ; whether he will shew it about I 

'don't know." The meeting is described by Rogers in his Italy 


" Much had pass'd 

Since last we parted ; and those five short years 
Much had they told ! His clustering locks were turn'd 
Gray ; nor did aught recall the Youth that swam 
From Sestos to Abydos. Yet his voice, 
Still it was sweet ; still from his eye the thought 
Flashed lightning-like, nor lingered on the way, 
Waiting for words. Far, far into the night 
We sat, conversing no unwelcome hour, 
The hour we met ; and, when Aurora rose, 
Rising, we climb'd the rugged Apennine." 

For Byron's journey across the Apennines and visit to Florence 
with Rogers, see Detached Thoughts, p. 464 (114, 115). 


winter, to which all my chattels furniture, horses, car- 
riages, and live stock are already removed, and I am 
preparing to follow. 

The cause of this removal is, shortly, the exile or pro- 
scription of all my friends' relations and connections here 
into Tuscany, on account of our late politics ; and where 
they go, I accompany them. I merely remained till 
now to settle some arrangements about my daughter, and 
to give time for my furniture, etc., to precede me. I 
have not here a seat or a bed hardly, except some/wry 
chairs, and tables, and a mattrass for the week to come. 

If you will go on with me to Pisa, I can lodge you 
for as long as you like ; (they write that the house, the 
Palazzo Lanfranchi, 1 is spacious : it is on the Arno ;) and 
I have four carriages, and as many saddle-horses (such as 
they are in these parts), with all other conveniences at 
your command, as also their owner. If you can't do 
this, we may, at least, cross the Apennines together; or 
if you are going by another road, we shall meet at 
Bologna, I hope. I address this to the post-office (as 
you desire), and you will probably find me at the Albergo 
di San Marco. If you arrive first, wait till I come up, 
which will be (barring accidents) on Saturday or Sunday 
at farthest. 

I presume you are alone in your voyages. Moore is 
in London incog, according to my latest advices from 
those climates. 

It is better than a lustre (five years and six months 

I. The Lanfranchi family, Ghibelline leaders at Pisa, are men- 
tioned by Count Ugolino (in Circle ix. of Hell), together with the 
Gualandi and Sismondi, as compassing his destruction. See Inferno. 
Canto XXXIII. lines 31-33 

" Con cagne magre, studiose e conte, 

Gualandi con Sismondi e con Lanfranchi, 
S'avea messi dinanzi dalla fronte." 


and some days, more or less) since we met ; and like the 
man from Tadcaster in the farce Love Laughs at Lock- 
smiths l ), whose acquaintances, including the cat and the 
terrier, " who caught a halfpenny in his mouth," were all 
"gone dead," but too many of our acquaintances have 
taken the same path. Lady Melbourne, Grattan, Sheri- 
dan, Curran, etc., etc. without reckoning the oiTroAAoi 
almost every body of much name of the old school. But 
" so am not I, said the foolish fat scullion ; " 2 therefore 
let us make the most of our remainder. 

Let me find two lines from you at " the Hostel or Inn." 

Yours ever, etc., 

950. To John Murray. 

R a . Oct r . 26'!' 1821. 

DEAR MORAY, I waited here another week to receive 
the proofs of Cain, which have not arrived, though your 
last letter announced them for next post. I must start 
for Pisa on Saturday, so by this means there is a. fortnight 
lost ; for the proof must follow through cross posts. Upon 

1. Love Laughs at Locksmiths, by G. Colman the Younger, 
act ii. Risk, disguised as Solomon Lob, in conversation with 
Totterton, who asks after their mutual friends, kills them all. 

" Totterton, And honest Mat Figgins, the grocer is he hale and 

" Risk. He be dead too. 

" Totterton. He dead too ! Poor Mat ! his lump sugar was 
" excellent. He had a dog, I remember, that chucked a halfpenny 
" off his nose into his mouth whenever you said ' nine.' Is the dog 

" Risk. Noa ; he eat a halfpenny. 

" Totterton. And did that kill him ? 

"Risk. Ees ; 'Twere such a varry bad one." 

2. " We had a fat, foolish scullion my father, I think, kept her 
"for her simplicity; she had been all autumn struggling with a 
"dropsy. 'He is dead,' said Obadiah, 'he is certainly dead !' 
" ' So am not I,' said the foolish scullion " ( Tristram Shandy, Bk. V. 
c. 7). 


my word, you will provoke me to play you some trick, 
one of these days, that you won't like. 

By this post I send you a third corrected copy of Don 
Juan. I will thank you to be more careful in future. 

Yours, etc. 

Please to acknowledge the Vision of Judgement by 
Quevedo Redivivus, and other packets. 

951. To John Murray. 

R a , Oct r . 26'!' 1821. 

DEAR MORAY, You say the errors are in the MSS. : 
now, excuse me, but this is not true ; and I defy you to 
prove it to be true. 

The truth is you are a fine gentleman, and negligent 
as becomes a mighty man in his business. 

I send you a third copy corrected^ with some alteration ; 
and, by this and the other corrected copies, I request you 
to print any future impression. 


P.S. Collate this with the other two copies, both 
sent by the post. And, pray, when I send you a parcel 
or packet, do acknowledge it. I care nothing about my 
letters or your answers: I only want to know, when I 
have taken trouble about a thing, that it has arrived. 

You shall be the hero of my next poem : will you 
publish it ? 

952. To Thomas Moore. 

Ravenna, Oct. 28, 1821. 

" Tis the middle of night by the castle clock," 1 and in 
three hours more I have to set out on my way to Pisa 
I. Christabel, Part I. line I. 


sitting up all night to be sure of rising. I have just made 
them take off my bed-clothes blankets inclusive in 
case of temptation from the apparel of sheets to my 

Samuel Rogers is or is to be at Bologna, as he 
writes from Venice. 

I thought our Magnifico would "pound you," if 
possible. 1 He is trying to " pound " me, too j but I'll 
specie the rogue or at least, I'll have the odd shillings 
out of him in keen iambics. 

Your approbation of Sardanapalus 2 is agreeable, for 
more reasons than one. Hobhouse is pleased to think 
as you do of it, and so do some others but the " Arimas- 
" pian " whom, like " a Gryphon in the wilderness," 3 I 
will "follow for his gold" (as I exhorted you to do 
before), did or doth disparage it " stinting me in my 
"sizings." His notable opinions on the Foscari and 
Cain he hath not as yet forwarded ; or, at least, I have 
not yet received them, nor the proofs thereof, though 
promised by last post. 

I see the way that he and his Quarterly people are 
tending they want a row with me, and they shall have 

1. I.e. Murray would try to pay in pounds, not guineas, for the 

2. Moore, in his Diary for September 30, 1821 (Memoirs, etc., vol. 
iii. p. 282), writes, " Read the proofs of Lord B.'s ' Sardanapalus,' 
" with which I was delighted. Much originality in the character of 
" Sardanapalus, but not a dramatic personage ; his sly, insinuating 
" sarcasms too delicate for the broad sign-painting of the stage." 

3. The Arimaspians, a one-eyed people of Scythia, coveted gold 
for the adornment of their hair. Hence there is perpetual strife 
between them and the Gryphons, creatures in form half-eagle, half- 
lion, who guard the mines (Herodotus, iv. 13). Byron refers to 
Milton's Paradise Lost (Bk. II. lines 943, etc.) 

" As when a gryphon thro' the wilderness, 
With winged course, o'er hill or moory dale, 
Pursues the Arimaspian, who, by stealth, 
Had from his wakeful custody purloined 
The guarded gold." 


it. I only regret that I am not in England for the nonce ; 
as, here, it is hardly fair ground for me, isolated and out 
of the way of prompt rejoinder and information as I am. 
But, though backed by all the corruption, and infamy, 
and patronage of their master rogues and slave renegadoes, 
if they do once rouse me up, 

"They had better gall the devil, Salisbury." ' 

I have that for two or three of them, which they had 
better not move me to put in motion ; and yet, after all, 
what a fool I am to disquiet myself about such fellows ! 
It was all very well ten or twelve years ago, when I was 
a " curled darling," and minded such things. At present, 
I rate them at their true value ; but, from natural temper 
and bile, am not able to keep quiet. 

Let me hear from you on your return from Ireland, 
which ought to be ashamed to see you, after her Bruns- 
wick blarney. 2 I am of Longman's opinion, that you 
should allow your friends to liquidate the Bermuda claim. 3 

1. " Thou wert better gall the devil, Salisbury." 

King John, act iv. sc. 3. 

2. The Annual Register, 1821 (p. 220), quotes the following 
passage from the Dublin Evening Post : 

" No King that ever reigned has rendered such a service as this to 
' Ireland. If our factions, losing all their asperities, shall ultimately 
1 be melted into one feeling of Devotion to the Sovereign, and of 
' rational attachment to the Country, posterity will attribute the 
' blessings to the Fourth King of the Brunswick Line, to the first 
' King that ever visited Ireland, in the pride, pomp, and circum- 
' stance of glorious Peace." 

Upon this passage Byron fastens in " The Irish Avatar" (Septem- 
ber 16, 1821) 

" But he comes ! the messiah of royalty conies ! 

Like a goodly Leviathan rolled from the waves ! 
Then receive him as best such an advent becomes, 

With a legion of cooks, and an army of slaves ! " etc., etc. 

See also the address of the Corporation of Dublin to George IV., 
in the Annual Register, 1821 (p. 322*). 

3. Moore, during his visit to London in September, 1821 (Memoirs, 
vol. iii. p. 281), was told by Longman that Lord Lansdowne had 


Why should you throw away the two thousand pounds 
(of the non-guinea. Murray) ; upon that cursed piece of 
treacherous inveiglement? I think you carry the matter 
a little too far and scrupulously. When we see patriots 
begging publicly, and know that Grattan received a fortune 
from his country, I really do not see why a man, in no 
whit inferior to any or all of them, should shrink from 
accepting that assistance from his private friends which 
every tradesman receives from his connections upon much 
less occasions. For, after all, it was not your debt it 
was a piece of swindling against you. As to * * *, and 
the " what noble creatures ! l etc., etc.," it is all very fine 
and very well, but, till you can persuade me that there is 
110 credit^ and no self-applause to be obtained by being of 
use to a celebrated man, I must retain the same opinion 
of the human sp&cies, which I do of our friend Mr. Spe>. 

Yours ever, etc., 


953. To John Murray. 

gbre 30 th J82!. 

DEAR MORAY, You say the errors were in the MSS. 
of D. J. but the omitted stanza, which I sent you in an 
after letter, and the omitted notes? please to replace 


placed .1000 in his hands to liquidate the Bermuda claim against 
himself. Lord John Russell (ibid., p. 292) also pressed on Moore 
.200 for the same object. 

I. "I had mentioned to him, with all the praise and gratitude 
" such friendship deserved, some generous offers of aid which, from 
" more than one quarter, I had received at this period, and which, 
" though declined, have been not the less warmly treasured in my 
" recollection " (Moore). 


I am just setting off for Pisa. 1 
Favour the enclosed to Mr. Moore. 
Address to Pisa. 

I. Moore (Life, p. 538) quotes Countess Guiccioli's account of 
Byron's reluctance to leave Ravenna. "Egli era parti to con molto 
" riverescimento da Ravenna, e col pressentimento che la sua 
"partenza da Ravenna ci sarebbe cagione di molti mali. In ogni 
"lettera che egli mi scriveva allora egli mi esprimeva il suo dis- 
"piacere di lasciare Ravenna. ' Se papa e richiamato (mi scriveva 
"egli) io torno in quel istante a Ravenna, e se e richiamato prima 
"dellamia partenza, io nonparto? In questa speranza egli differl 
" varii mesi a partire. Ma, finalmente, non potendo piu sperare il 
"nostro ri torno prossimo, egli mi scriveva 'Io parto molto mal 
"volontieri prevedendo dei mali assai grandi per voi altri emassimo 
" per voi ; altro non dico, Io vedrete.' E in un altra lettera, ' Io 
"lascio Ravenna cosi mal volontieri, e cosl persuaso che la mia 
" partenza non puo che condurre da un male ad un altro piu grande 
"che non ho cuore di scrivere altro in questo punto.' Egli mi 
" scriveva allora sempre in Italiano e trascrivo le sue precise parole 
" ma come quei suoi pressentimenti si verificarono poi in appresso ! " 

Of this passage Moore (ibid., pp. 538, 539) gives the following 
translation : 

" He left Ravenna with great regret, and with a presentiment 
" that his departure would be the forerunner of a thousand evils to 
"us. In every letter he then wrote to me, he expressed his dis- 
" pleasure at this step. ' If your father should be recalled,' he said, 
" ' 1 immediately return to Ravenna ; and if he is recalled previous 
" to my departure, / remain. 1 In this hope he delayed his journey 
" for several months ; but at last, no longer having any expectation 
"of our immediate return, he wrote to me, saying, 'I set out most 
"unwillingly, foreseeing the most evil results for all of you, and 
"principally for yourself. I say no more, but you will see.' 
"And in another letter he says, 'I leave Ravenna so unwillingly, 
"and with such a persuasion on my mind that my departure will 
" lead from one misery to another, each greater than the former, that 
" I have not the heart to utter another word on the subject.' He 
"always wrote to me at that time in Italian, and I transcribe his 
"exact words. How entirely were these presentiments verified by 
"the event!" 

Another passage from Countess Guiccioli's letter, of which the 
original has been lost, is given by Moore (ibid., p. 539) 

" This sort of simple life he led until the fatal day of his departure 
" for Greece, and the few variations he made from it may be said to 
' have arisen solely from the greater or smaller number of occasions 
' which were offered him of doing good, and from the generous 
1 actions he was continually performing. Many families (in Ravenna 
'principally) owed to him the few prosperous days they ever en- 
' joyed. His arrival in that town was spoken of as a piece of 

VOL. V. 2 D 


' public good fortune, and his departure as a public calamity ; and 
' this is the life which many attempted to asperse as that of a liber - 
' tine ! But the world must at last learn how, with so good and 
' generous a heart, Lord Byron, susceptible, it is true, of the most 
' energetic passions, yet, at the same time, of the sublimest and 
1 most pure, and rendering homage in his acts to every virtue how 
'he, I say, could afford such scope to malice and to calumny. 
' Circumstances, and also, probably, an eccentricity of disposition 
' (which, nevertheless, had its origin in a virtuous feeling, an exces- 
' sive abhorrence for hypocrisy and affectation), contributed, perhaps, 
'to cloud the splendour of his exalted nature in the opinion of 
'many. But you will well know how to analyse these contra- 
' dictions in a manner worthy of your noble friend and of yourself, 
' and you will prove that the goodness of his heart was not inferior 
' to the grandeur of his genius." 



OCTOBER 15, 1821 MAY 18, 1822. 

Ravenna, May I? 1 1821. 

AMONGST various journals, memoranda, diaries, etc., 
which I have kept in the course of my living, I began 
one about three months ago, and carried it on till I had 
filled one paper-book (thinnish), and two sheets or so of 
another. I then left off, partly because I thought we 
should have some business here, and I had furbished up 
my arms, and got my apparatus ready for taking a turn 
with the Patriots, having my drawers full of their pro- 
clamations, oaths, and resolutions, and my lower rooms 
of their hidden weapons of most calibres; and partly 
because I had filled my paper book. But the Neapolitans 
have betrayed themselves and all the World, and those 
who would have given their blood for Italy can now 
only give her their tears. 

Some day or other, if dust holds together, I have 
been enough in the Secret (at least in this part of the 
country) to cast perhaps some little light upon the 
atrocious treachery which has replunged Italy into 
Barbarism. At present I have neither the time nor the 

I. In this and previous editions copious extracts have been made 
from Byron's Detached Thoughts. But the original manuscript is 
here, for the first time, given in its entirety. The volume bears 
the inscription "Paper Book of G.G.B, L"? B . Ravenna, 1821." 

404 "MY DICTIONARY." [CHAP. xxni. 

temper. However, the real Italians are not to blame 
merely the scoundrels at the Heel of the Boot, which 
the Hun now wears, and will trample them to ashes with 
for their Servility. 

I have risked myself with the others here, and how 
far I may or may not be compromised is a problem at 
this moment : some of them like " Craigengelt " would 
" tell all and more than all to save themselves ; " but, come 
what may, the cause was a glorious one, though it reads 
at present as if the Greeks had run away from Xerxes. 

Happy the few who have only to reproach themselves 
with believing that these rascals were less rascaille than 
they proved. Here in Romagna the efforts were neces- 
sarily limited to preparations and good intentions, until 
the Germans were fairly engaged in equal warfare, as we 
are upon their very frontiers without a single fort, or hill, 
nearer than San Marino. Whether " Hell will be paved 
" with " those " good intentions," I know not ; but there 
will probably be good store of Neapolitans to walk 
upon the pavement, whatever may be it's composition. 
Slabs of lava from their mountain, with the bodies of 
their own damned Souls for cement, would be the fittest 
causeway for Satan's Corso. 

But what shall I write? another Journal? I think 
not. Anything that comes uppermost and call it " my 
" Dictionary." 


Augustus. I have often been puzzled with his 
character. Was he a great Man ? Assuredly. But not 
one of my great men. I have always looked upon Sylla 
as the greatest Character in History, for laying down 
his power at the moment when it was 

" too great to keep or to resign," 

1 8 2 1 .] AUGUSTUS. 40 5 

and thus despising them all. As to the retention of his 
power by Augustus, the thing was already settled. If he 
had given it up, the Commonwealth was gone, the republic 
was long past all resuscitation. Had Brutus and Cassius 
gained the battle of Philippi, it would not have restored 
the republic its days ended with the Gracchi, the rest 
was a mere struggle of parties. You might as well cure a 
Consumption, restore a broken egg, as revive a state so 
long a prey to every uppermost Soldier as Rome had 
long been. 

As for a despotism, if Augustus could have been sure 
that all his Successors would have been like himself (I 
mean not as Octavius^ but Augustus), or Napoleon would 
have insured the world that none of his Successors would 
have been like himself, the antient or modern World 
might have gone on like the Empire of China in a state 
of lethargic prosperity. 

Suppose, for instance, that, instead of Tiberius and 
Caligula, Augustus had been immediately succeeded by 
Nerva, Trajan, the Antonines, or even by Titus and his 
father, what a difference in our estimate of himself? So 
far from gaining by the contrast, I think that one half of 
our dislike arises from his having been heired by Tiberius, 
and one half of Julius Caesar's fame from his having had 
his empire consolidated by Augustus. 

Suppose that there had been no Octavius, and Tiberius 
had " jumped the life " between, and at once succeeded 
Julius ? And yet it is difficult to say whether hereditary 
right, or popular choice, produce the worse Sovereigns. 
The Roman Consuls make a goodly show, but then they 
only reigned for a year, and were under a sort of personal 
obligation to distinguish themselves. It is still more 
difficult to say which form of Government is the worst 
all are so bad. As for democracy, it is the worst 


of the whole; for what is (in fact) democracy? an 
Aristocracy of Blackguards. 


For several years of my earliest childhood I was in 
that City, but have never revisited it since I was ten 
years old. I was sent at five years old, or earlier, to a 
School kept by a Mr. Bowers, who was called " Bodsy 
" Bowers " by reason of his dapperness. It was a School 
for both sexes. I learned little there, except to repeat 
by rote the first lesson of Monosyllables " God made 
" man, let us love him " by hearing it often repeated, 
without acquiring a letter. Whenever proof was made 
of my progress at home, I repeated these words with the 
most rapid fluency; but on turning over a new leaf, I 
continued to repeat them, so that the narrow boundaries 
of my first year's accomplishments were detected, my 
ears boxed (which they did not deserve, seeing that it 
was by ear only that I had acquired my letters), and my 
intellects consigned to a new preceptor. He was a very 
decent, clever, little Clergyman, named Ross, after- 
wards Minister of one of the Kirks (East I think). 
Under him I made an astonishing progress, and I recol- 
lect to this day his mild manners and good-natured 

The moment I could read, my grand passion was 
history ; and why, I know not, but I was particularly 
taken with the battle near the Lake Regillus in the 
Roman History, put into my hands the first. 

Four years ago, when standing on the heights of 
Tusculum, and looking down upon the little round Lake, 
that was once Regillus, and which dots the immense 


expanse below, I remembered my young enthusiasm and 
my old instructor. 

Afterwards I had a very serious, saturnine, but kind 
young man, named Paterson, for a Tutor : he was the 
son of my Shoemaker, but a good Scholar, as is common 
with the Scotch. He was a rigid Presbyterian also. 
With him I began Latin in Ruddiman's Grammar, and 
continued till I went to the " Grammar School " (Scotice 
"Schule" Aberdonice "Squeel"), where I threaded 
all the Classes to the fourth, when I was re-called to 
England (where I had been hatched) by the demise of 
my Uncle. 

I acquired this handwriting, which I can hardly read 
myself, under the fair copies of Mr. Duncan of the same 
city. I don't think that he would plume himself upon 
my progress. However, I wrote much better then than I 
have ever done since. Haste and agitation of one kind 
or another have quite spoilt as pretty a scrawl as ever 
scratched over a frank. 

The Grammar School might consist of a hundred and 
fifty of all ages under age. It was divided into five 
classes, taught by four masters, the Chief teaching the 
fifth and fourth himself, as in England the fifth, sixth 
forms, and Monitors are heard by the Head Masters. 


Oct r . is 1 ! 1 1821. 

I have been thinking over the other day on the 
various comparisons, good or evil, which I have seen 
published of myself in different journals English and 
foreign. This was suggested to me by accidentally turn- 
ing over a foreign one lately ; for I have made it a rule 
latterly never to search for anything of the kind, but not 
to avoid the perusal if presented by Chance. 


To begin then I have seen myself compared person- 
ally or poetically, in English, French, German (as inter- 
preted to me), Italian, and Portuguese, within these nine 
years, to Rousseau Goethe Young Aretino Timon of 
Athens " An Alabaster Vase lighted up within " Satan 
Shakespeare Buonaparte Tiberius Aeschylus 
Sophocles Euripides Harlequin The Clown Stern- 
hold and Hopkins to the Phantasmagoria to Henry the 
8'! 1 to Chenies to Mirabeau to young R. Dallas (the 
Schoolboy) to Michael Angelo to Raphael to a. petit 
maitre to Diogenes to Childe Harold to Lara to the 
Count in Beppo to Milton to Pope to Dryden to 
Burns to Savage to Chatterton to " oft have I heard 
" of thee my Lord Biron " in Shakespeare to Churchill 
the poet to Kean the Actor to Alfieri, etc., etc., etc. 
The likeness to Alfieri was asserted very seriously by an 
Italian, who had known him in his younger days : it of 
course related merely to our apparent personal disposi- 
tions. He did not assert it to me (for we were not then 
good friends), but in society. 

The Object of so many contradictory comparisons 
must probably be like something different from them all ; 
but what that is, is more than / know, or any body else. 

My Mother, before I was twenty, would have it that 
I was like Rousseau, and Madame de Stael used to say 
so too in 1813, and the Edin 1 ' Review has something of 
the sort in its critique on the 4* Canto of CK. Jfai. I 
can't see any point of resemblance : he wrote prose, I 
verse : he was of the people, I of the Aristocracy : he was 
a philosopher, I am none : he published his first work at 
forty, I mine at eighteen : his first essay brought him 
universal applause, mine the contrary : he married his 
housekeeper, I could not keep house with my wife : he 
thought all the world in a plot against /urn, my little 


world seems to think me in a plot against it, if I may 
judge by their abuse in print and coterie : he liked 
Botany, I like flowers, and herbs, and trees, but know 
nothing of their pedigrees : he wrote Music, I limit my 
knowledge of it to what I catch by Ear I never could 
learn any thing by study, not even a language, it was all 
by rote and ear and memory : he had a bad memory, I 
had at least an excellent one (ask Hodgson the poet, a 
good judge, for he has an astonishing one) : he wrote 
with hesitation and care, I with rapidity and rarely with 
pains : he could never ride nor swim " nor was cunning of 
" fence," / am an excellent swimmer, a decent though not 
at all a dashing rider (having staved in a rib at eighteen 
in the course of scampering), and was sufficient of fence 
particularly of the Highland broadsword ; not a bad 
boxer when I could keep my temper, which was difficult, 
but which I strove to do ever since I knocked down Mr. 
Purling and put his knee-pan out (with the gloves on) 
in Angelo's and Jackson's rooms 1 in 1806 during the 
sparring ; and I was besides a very fair cricketer one of 
the Harrow Eleven when we play[ed] against Eton in 1805.-' 
Besides, Rousseau's way of life, his country, his manners, 
his whole character, were so very different, that I am at a 
loss to conceive how such a comparison could have arisen, 
as it has done three several times, and all in rather a 
remarkable manner. I forgot to say, that he was also 
short-sighted, and that hitherto my eyes have been the 
contrary to such a degree, that, in the largest theatre of 
Bologna, I distinguished and read some busts and inscrip- 
tions painted near the stage, from a box so distant, and 
so darkly lighted, that none of the company (composed of 
young and very bright-eyed people some of them in the 

1. Letters, vol. i. p. 99, note I ; and p. 189, note 2. 

2. Ibid., vol. i. p. 70. 


same box) could make out a letter, and thought it was a 
trick, though I had never been in that theatre before. 

Altogether, I think myself justified in thinking the 
comparison not well founded. I don't say this out of 
pique, for Rousseau was a great man, and the thing if 
true were flattering enough ; but I have no idea of being 
pleased with a chimera. 


When I met old Courtenay, 1 the Orator, at Rogers the 
poet's in 1811-1812, I was much taken with the portly 
remains of his fine figure, and the still acute quickness of 
his conversation. It was he who silenced Flood in the 
English House by a crushing reply to a hasty debut of 
the rival of Grattan in Ireland. I asked Courtenay (for 
I like to trace motives), if he had not some personal pro- 
vocation ; for the acrimony of his answer seemed to me 
(as I had read it) to involve it. Courtenay said " he had 
" that when in Ireland (being an Irishman) at the bar of 
"the Irish house of Commons that Flood had made a 
" personal and unfair attack upon himself, who, not being 
"a member of that house, could not defend himself; and 
" that some years afterwards, the opportunity of retort offer- 
" ing in the English Parliament, he could not resist it." 
He certainly repaid F. with interest, for Flood never made 
any figure, and only a speech or two afterwards in the E. 
H. of Commons. I must except, however, his speech on 

I. John Courtenay (1741-1816), M.P. for Tamworth, and after- 
wards for Appleby, belonged to the Devonshire family, and was not 
"an Irishman" (Collins, Peerage, ed. Brydges, ii. 575, note, and 
vi. 267, note). He was private secretary to Viscount Townshend 
when Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland (1767-72). His attack upon 
Flood was made December 3, 1783, in the debate on Fox's East 
India Bill, when Flood made his first speech in the English House 
of Commons. 


Reform in 1790, which "Fox called the best he ever 
" heard upon that Subject." 


When Fox was asked what he thought the best speech 
he had ever heard, he replied " Sheridan's on the Impeach- 
"ment of Hastings in the house of Commons" (not that 
in Westminster Hall). When asked what he thought of 
his own speech on the breaking out of the War ? he replied 
"that was a damned good speech too." From L d . 


When Sheridan made his famous speech already 
alluded to, Fox advised him to speak it over again in 
Westminster Hall on the trial, as nothing better could be 
made of the subject; but Sheridan made his new speech 
as different as possible, and, according to the best Judges, 
very inferior to the former, notwithstanding the laboured 
panegyric of Burke upon his Colleagw. L? H. 


Burke spoilt his own speaking afterwards by an imita- 
tion of Sheridan's in Westminster Hall : this Speech he 
called always " the grand desideratum, which was neither 
" poetry nor eloquence, but something better than both." 


I have never heard any one who fulfilled my Ideal of 
an Orator. Grattan would have been near it but for his 
Harlequin delivery. Pitt I never heard. Fox but once, 
and then he struck me as a debater, which to me seems 
as different from an Orator as an Improvisatore or a 
versifier from a poet. Grey is great, but it is not oratory. 


Canning is sometimes very like one. Windham I did not 
admire, though all the world did : it seemed such sophistry. 
Whitbread was the Demosthenes of bad taste and vulgar 
vehemence, but strong and English. Holland is impressive 
from sense and sincerity. Lord Lansdowne good, but 
still a debater only. Grenville I like vastly, if he would 
prune his speeches down to an hour's delivery. Burdett 
is sweet and silvery as Belial himself, and / think the 
greatest favourite in Pandemonium; at least I always 
heard the Country Gentlemen and the ministerial devilry 
praise his speeches upstairs, and run down from Bellamy's 
when he was upon his legs. I heard Bob. Milnes make 
his second speech : it made no impression. I like Ward 
studied, but keen, and sometimes eloquent. Peel, my 
School and form-fellow (we sate within two of each other) 
strange to say I have never heard, though I often wished 
to do so ; but, from what I remember of him at Harrow, 
he is, or should be, among the best of them. Now, I do 
not admire Mr. Wilberforce's speaking ; it is nothing but 
a flow of words " words, words alone." 

I doubt greatly if the English have any eloquence, 
properly so called, and am inclined to think that the 
Irish had a great deal, and that the French will have, 
and have had in Mirabeau. Lord Chatham and Burke 
are the nearest approaches to Orators in England. I 
don't know what Erskine may have been at the bar, but 
in the house I wish him at the Bar once more. Lauderdale 
is shrill, and Scotch, and acute. Of Brougham I shall 
say nothing, as I have a personal feeling of dislike to 
the man. 

But amongst all these good, bad, and indifferent I 
never heard the speech which was not too long for the 
auditors, and not very intelligible except here and there. 
The whole thing is a grand deception, and as tedious 

1 82 1.] SHERIDAN. 413 

and tiresome as may be to those who must be often 
present. I heard Sheridan only once, and that briefly ; 
but I liked his voice, his manner, and his wit : he is the 
only one of them I ever wished to hear at greater length. 
In society I have met him frequently : he was superb ! He 
had a sort of liking for me, and never attacked me at 
least to my face, and he did every body else high names, 
and wits, and orators, some of them poets also. I have 
seen [him] cut up Whitbread, quiz M? de Stael, annihilate 
Colman, and do little less by some others (whose names 
as friends I set not down), of good fame and abilities. 
Poor fellow ! he got drunk very thoroughly and very 
soon. It occasionally fell to my lot to convoy him 
home no sinecure, for he was so tipsy that I was obliged 
to put on his cock'd hat for him : to be sure it tumbled 
off again, and I was not myself so sober as to be able to 
pick it up again. 


There was something odd about Sheridan. One day 
at a dinner he was slightly praising that pert pretender 
and impostor, Lyttelton (The Parliament puppy, still 
alive, I believe). I took the liberty of differing from 
him : he turned round upon me, and said, " Is that your 
" real opinion ? " I confirmed it. Then said he, 
" Fortified by this concurrence, I beg leave to say that it 
" in fact is also my opinion, and that he is a person 
" whom I do absolutely and utterly despise, abhor, and 
"detest." He then launched out into a description of 
his despicable qualities, at some length, and with his 
usual wit, and evidently in earnest (for he hated Lyttelton). 
His former compliment had been drawn out by some 
preceding one, just as it's reverse was by my hinting that 
it was unmerited. 



One day I saw him take up his own " Monody on 
" Garrick." He lighted upon the dedication to the 
Dowager Lady Spencer : on seeing it he flew into a rage, 
and exclaimed " that it must be a forgery that he had 
" never dedicated anything of his to such a d d canting 
" b h," etc., etc., etc. ; and so went on for half an hour 
abusing his own dedication, or at least the object of it. 
If all writers were equally sincere, it would be ludicrous. 


He told me that, on the night of the grand success of 
his S[choof\ for S\candal\ he was knocked down and put 
into the watch house for making a row in the Street, 
and being found intoxicated by the watchmen. 


Latterly, when found drunk one night in the kennel, 
and asked his Name by the Watchmen, he answered 
" Wilberforce." 

The last time I met him was, I think, at Sir Gilbert 
Elliot's, where he was as quick as ever. No, it was not 
the last time : the last time was at Douglas K*? s . I have 
met him in all places and parties at Whitehall with the 
Melbournes, at the Marquis of Tavistock's, at Robins 1 
the Auctioneer's, at Sir Humphrey Davy's, at Sam Rogers's, 
in short, in most kinds of company, and always found 
him very convivial and delightful. 


Sheridan's liking for me (whether he was not mystifying 
me I do not know ; but Lady C? L. and others told me 
he said the same both before and after he knew me) was 

I. Letters, vol. iii. p. 203, note 3. 


founded upon English Bards and S. Reviewers. He told 
me that he did not care about poetry (or about mine at 
least, any but that poem of mine), but he was sure, from 
that and other symptoms, I should make an Orator, if I 
would but take to speaking, and grow a parliament man. 
He never ceased harping upon this to me, to the last ; 
and I remember my old tutor Dr. Drury had the same 
notion when I was a boy : but it never was my turn of 
inclination to try. I spoke once or twice as all young 
peers do, as a kind of introduction into public life ; but 
dissipation, shyness, haughty and reserved opinions, 
together with the short time I lived in England after 
my majority (only about five years in all) prevented 
me from resuming the experiment. As far as it went, it 
was not discouraging particularly my first speech (I 
spoke three or four times in all); but just after it my 
poem of C* H* was published, and nobody ever thought 
about my prose afterwards : nor indeed did I ; it became 
to me a secondary and neglected object, though I some- 
times wonder to myself if I should have succeeded ? 


The Impression of Parliament upon me was that it's 
members are not formidable as Speakers, but very much 
so as an audience ; because in so numerous a body there 
may be little Eloquence (after all there were but two 
thorough Orators in all Antiquity, and I suspect still 
fewer in modern times), but must be a leaven of thought 
and good sense sufficient to make them know what is 
right, though they can't express it nobly. 


Home Tooke and Roscoe both are said to have 
declared, that they left Parliament with a higher opinion 


of its aggregate integrity and abilities than that with 
which they had entered it. The general amount of both 
in most parliaments is probably about the same, as also 
the number of Speakers and their talent. I except 
Orators, of course, because they are things of Ages and 
not of Septennial or triennial reunions. 

Neither house ever struck me with more awe or 
respect than the same number of Turks in a Divan, or 
of Methodists in a barn would have done. Whatever 
diffidence or nervousness I felt (and I felt both in a great 
degree) arose from the number rather than the quality of 
the assemblage, and the thought rather of the public 
without than the persons within knowing (as all know) 
that Cicero himself, and probably the Messiah, could 
never have alter'd ithe vote of a single Lord of the 
Bedchamber or Bishop. 

I thought our house dull, but the other animating 
enough upon great days. 

1 2 [so repeated by Byron]. 

Sheridan dying was requested to undergo "an 
" Operation : " he replied that he had already submitted 
to two, which were enough for one man's life time. 
Being asked what they were, he answered, " having his 
" hair cut, and sitting for his picture." 

Whenever an American requests to see me (which is 
not unfrequently), I comply : i stly , because I respect 
a people who acquired their freedom by firmness without 
excess ; and 2 ndly , because these trans-atlantic visits, " few 
" and far between," make me feel as if talking with Posterity 
from the other side of the Styx. In a century or two, the 

1821.] MONK LEWIS. 417 

new English and Spanish Atlantides will be masters of 
the old Countries in all probability, as Greece and Europe 
overcame their Mother Asia in the older, or earlier ages 
as they are called. 


Sheridan was one day offered a bet by M. G. Lewis. 1 
" I will bet you, Mr. Sheridan, a very large sum : I will 
"bet you what you owe me as Manager, for my ' Castle 
" Spectre.' " " I never make large bets" said Sheridan : 
"but I will lay you a very small one; I will bet you 
" what it is WORTH ! " 

Lewis, though a kind man, hated Sheridan ; and we 
had some words upon that score when in Switzerland in 
1816. Lewis afterwards sent me the following epigram 
upon Sheridan from Saint Maurice : 

" For worst abuse of finest parts 

Was Misophil begotten ; 
There might indeed be blacker hearts, 
But none could be more rotten" 

1 6. 

Lewis at Oatlands was observed one morning to have 
his eyes red, and his air sentimental : being asked why ? 
replied, " that when people said any thing kind to him, 
" it affected him deeply ; and just now the Duchess has 
" said something so kind to me that ..." here " tears 
" began to flow " again. " Never mind, Lewis," said Col. 
Armstrong to him, "never mind, don't cry. She could 
" not mean it" 

I. Letters, vol. ii. p. 314, note 4. 
VOL. V. 2 E 



Lewis was a good man, a clever man, but a bore, a 
damned bore, one may say. My only revenge or con- 
solation used to be, setting him by the ears with some 
vivacious person who hated Bores, especially M? de 
Stael, or Hobhouse, for example. But I liked Lewis: 
he was a Jewel of a Man had he been better set. I don't 
mean personally \ but less tiresome ; for he was tedious, 
as well as contradictory, to every thing and every body. 

Being short-sighted, when we used to ride out together 
near the Brenta in the twilight in Summer, he made me 
go before to pilot him. I am absent at times, especially 
towards evening ; and the consequence of this pilotage 
was some narrow escapes to the Monk on horseback. 
Once I led him into a ditch, over which I had passed as 
usual forgetting to warn my convoy. Once I led him 
nearly into the river, instead of on the moveable bridge 
which incommodes passengers; and twice did we both 
run against the diligence, which, being heavy and slow, 
did communicate less damage than it received in its 
leaders, who were ferrasse'd by the charge. Thrice did 
I lose him in the gray of the Gloaming, and was obliged 
to bring to to his distant signals of distance and distress. 
All the time he went on talking without intermission, for 
he was a man of many words. 

Poor fellow, he died, a martyr to his new riches, of 
a second visit to Jamaica 

" I'll give the lands of Deloraine 
Dark Musgrave were alive again ! " 

that is 

I would give many a Sugar Cane 
Monk Lewis were alive again ! 

1 82 1.] LONG BAILLIE. 419 


Lewis said to me, " Why do you talk Venetian " (such 
as I could talk, not very fine to be sure) "to the 
" Venetians ? and not the usual Italian ? " I answered, 
partly from habit, and partly to be understood, if possible. 
" It may be so," said Lewis, " but it sounds to me like 
" talking with a brogue to an Irishman? 


Baillie (commonly called Long Baillie, a very clever 
man, but odd), complained in riding to our friend Scrope 
B. Davies, " that he had a stitch in his side." " I don't 
" wonder at it " (said Scrope) " for you ride like a tailor" 
Whoever had seen B. on horseback, with his very tall 
figure on a small nag, would not deny the justice of the 


In 1808, Scrope and myself being at Supper at 
Steevens's (I think Hobhouse was there too) after the 
Opera, young Goulburne (of the Blues and of the Blue- 
viad) came in full of the praises of his horse, Grimaldi, 
who had just won a race at Newmarket. " Did he win 
"easy?" said Scrope. "Sir," replied Goulburne, "he 
" did not even condescend to/w^at coming in." " No " 
(said Scrope) "and $Q you puff for him." 


Captain Wallace, a notorious character of that day, 
and tJien intimate with most of the more dissipated young 
men of the day, asked me one night at the Gaming 
table, where I thought his Soul would be found after 
death ? I answered him, " In Silver Hell" (a cant name 
for a second rate Gambling house). 



When the Hon b . le J. W. Ward quitted the Whigs, he 
facetiously demanded, at Sir James Macintosh's table, in 
the presence of Mad! de Stael, Malthus, and a large and 
goodly company of all parties and countries, " what it 
"would take to re-whig him, as he thought of turning 
"again." "Before you can be re-whigged" (said I), "I 
" am afraid you must be re- Warded" This pun has been 
attributed to others : they are welcome to it ; but it was 
mine notwithstanding, as a numerous company and Ward 
himself doth know. I believe Luttrel versified it after- 
wards to put into the M. Chronicle at least the late 
Lady Melbourne told me so. Ward took it good- 
humouredly at the time. 

2 3- 

When Sheridan was on his death-bed, Rogers aided 
him with purse and person : this was particularly kind in 
Rogers, who always spoke ill of Sheridan (tomcat least) ; 
but indeed he does that of every-body to any body. 
Rogers is the reverse of the line 

" The best good man with the worst natured Muse," 

" The worst good man with the best natured Muse." 

His Muse being all Sentiment and Sago and Sugar, while 
he himself is a venomous talker. I say " worst good 
" man " because he is (perhaps) a good man at least he 
does good now and then, as well he may, to purchase 
himself a shilling's worth of Salvation for his Slanders. 
They are so little too small talk, and old Womanny ; 
and he is malignant too, and envious, and he be 
damned ! 



Curran ! Curran's the Man who struck me most. 
Such Imagination ! There never was any thing like it, 
that ever I saw or heard of. His publislud life, his pub- 
lished speeches, give you no idea of the Man none at 
all. He was a Machine of Imagination, as some one 
said that Piron was an " Epigrammatic Machine." 

I did not see a great deal of Curran only in 1813 ; 
but I met him at home (for he used to call on me), and 
in society, at Mac'Intosh's, Holland House, etc., etc., etc., 
and he was wonderful, even to me, who had seen many 
remarkable men of the time. 


A young American, named Coolidge, called on me not 
many months ago : he was intelligent, very handsome, 
and not more than twenty years old according to appear- 
ances. A little romantic, but that sits well upon youth, 
and mighty fond of poesy as may be suspected from his 
approaching me in my cavern. He brought me a message 
from an old Servant of my family (Joe Murray), and told 
me that he (Mr. Coolidge) had obtained a copy of my 
bust from Thorwal[d]sen at Rome, to send to America. 
I confess I was more flattered by this young enthusiasm 
of a solitary trans-atlantic traveller, than if they had 
decreed me a Statue in the Paris Pantheon (I have seen 
Emperors and demagogues cast down from their pedestals 
even in my own time, and Grattan's name razed from the 
Street called after him in Dublin) I say that I was more 
flattered by it, because it was single, ^in-political, and was 
without motive or ostentation the pure and warm feeling 
of a boy for the poet he admired. It must have been 
expensive though. / would not pay the price of a 


Thorwaldsen bust for any human head and shoulders, 
except Napoleon's, or my children's, or some "absurd 
" Womankind's " as Monkbarns calls them, or my Sister's. 
If asked, why then I sate for my own answer, that it 
was at the request particular of J. C. Hobhouse, Esq re , 
and for no one else. A picture is a different matter 
every body sits for their picture ; but a bust looks like 
putting up pretensions to permanency, and smacks some- 
thing of a hankering for public fame rather than private 


One of the cleverest men I ever knew in Conversation 
was Scrope Beardmore Davies. Hobhouse is also very 
good in that line, though it is of less consequence to a 
man who has other ways of showing his talents than in 
company. Scrope was always ready, and often witty : 
Hobhouse as witty, but not always so ready, being more 


A drunken man ran against Hobhouse in the Street. 
A companion of the Drunkard, not much less so, cried 
out to Hobhouse, " Arit you ashamed to run against a 
" drunken man ? couldn't you see that he was drunk ? " 
" Damn him " (answered Hobhouse) " isn't he ashamed 
" to run against me ? couldn't he see that / was sober ? " 


When Brummell * was obliged (by that affair of poor 
Meyler, who thence acquired the name of " Dick the 
" Dandy-killer " it was about money and debt and all 
that) to retire to France, he knew no French ; and having 

I. Letters, vol. ii. p. 126, note r. 


obtained a Grammar for the purposes of Study, our friend 
Scrope Davies was asked what progress Brummell had 
made in French, to which he responded, " that B. had 
" been stopped like Buonaparte in Russia by the Elements." 
I have put this pun into " Beppo," which is " a fair 
" exchange and no robbery ; " for Scrope made his fortune 
at several dinners (as he owned himself), by repeating 
occasionally as his own some of the buffooneries with 
which I had encountered him in the Morning. 


I liked the Dandies ; they were always very civil to 
me, though in general they disliked literary people, and 
persecuted and mystified M e . de Stael, Lewis, Horace 
Twiss, and the like, damnably. They persuaded M e . de 
Stael that Alvanley had a hundred thousand a year, etc., 
etc., till she praised him to his face for his beauty ! and 
made a set at him for Albertine (Libertine, as Brummell 
baptized her, though the poor Girl was and is as correct 
as maid or wife can be, and very amiable withal), and a 
hundred fooleries besides. 

The truth is, that, though I gave up the business 
early, I had a tinge of Dandyism in my minority, and 
probably retained enough of it, to conciliate the great 
ones ; at four and twenty. I had gamed, and drank, and 
taken my degrees in most dissipations ; and having no 
pedantry, and not being overbearing, we ran quietly 
together. I knew them all more or less, and they made 
me a Member of Watier's (a superb Club at that time), 
being, I take it, the only literary man (except two ot/iers, 
both men of the world, M. and S.) in it. 

Our Masquerade was a grand one ; so was the Dandy 
Ball, too, at the Argyle, but that (the latter) was given by 
the four Chiefs, B., M., A., and P., if I err not. 


I was a Member of the Alfred too, being elected while 
in Greece. It was pleasant a little too sober and 
literary, and bored with Sotheby and Sir Francis 
D'lvernois ! but one met Peel, and Ward, and Valentia, 
and many other pleasant or known people; and was 
upon the whole a decent resource on a rainy day, in a 
dearth of parties, or parliament, or an empty season. 


I belonged, or belong, to the following Clubs or 
Societies : to the Alfred, to the Cocoa tree, to Waller's, 
to the Union, to Racket's (at Brighton), to the Pugilistic, 
to the Owls or " Fly by Night," to the Cambridge Whig 
Club, to the Harrow Club, Cambridge, and to one or two 
private Clubs, to the Hampden political Club, and to the 
Italian Carbonari, etc., etc., etc., " though last not least." 
I got into all these, and never stood for any other at 
least to my own knowledge. I declined being proposed 
to several others ; though pressed to stand Candidate. 


If the papers lie not (which they generally do), 
Demetrius Zograffo of Athens is at the head of the 
Athenian part of the present Greek Insurrection. He 
was my Servant in 1809, 1810, 1811, 1812, at different 
intervals in those years (for I left him in Greece when I 
went to Constantinople), and accompanied me to Eng- 
land in 1811. He returned to Greece, Spring 1812. 
He was a clever, but not apparently an enterprizing, man ; 
but Circumstances make men. His two sons (then 
infants) were named Miltiades and Alcibiades. May the 
Omen be happy ! 



I have a notion that Gamblers are as happy as most 
people, being always excited. Women, wine, fame, the 
table, even Ambition, sate now and then ; but every turn 
of the card, and cast of the dice, keeps the Gamester 
alive : besides one can Game ten times longer than one 
can do any thing else. 

I was very fond of it when young, that is to say, of 
" Hazard ; " for I hate all Card Games, even Faro. 
When Macco (or whatever they spell it) was introduced, 
I gave up the whole thing ; for I loved and missed the 
rattle and dash of the box and dice, and the glorious 
uncertainty, not only of good luck or bad luck, but of 
any luck at all, as one had sometimes to throw often to 
decide at all. 

I have thrown as many as fourteen mains ' running, 
and carried off all the cash upon the table occasionally ; 
but I had no coolness or judgement or calculation. It 
was the delight of the thing that pleased me. Upon the 
whole, I left off in time without being much a winner or 
loser. Since one and twenty years of age, I played but 
little, and then never above a hundred or two, or three. 


As far as Fame goes (that is to say living Fame) I 
have had my share perhaps, indeed, certainly more than 
my deserts. Some odd instances have occurred to my 
own experience of the wild and strange places, to which 
a name may penetrate, and where it may impress. Two 
years ago (almost three, being in August or July 1819), 
I received at Ravenna a letter in English verse from 
Drontheim in Norway, written by a Norwegian, and full 
of the usual compliments, etc., etc. It is still somewhere 


amongst my papers. In the same month, I received an 
invitation into Holstein from a Mr. Jacob sen (I think), 
of Hamburgh ; also (by the same medium), a translation 
of Medora's song in the " Corsair " by a Westphalian 
Baroness (not " Thunderton-tronck "), with some original 
verses of hers (very pretty and Klopstock-ish), and a 
prose translation annexed to them, on the subject of my 
wife. As they concerned her more than me, I sent them 
to her together with Mr. J.'s letter. It was odd enough 
to receive an invitation to pass the summer in Holstein, 
while in Italy, from people I never knew. The letter 
was addressed to Venice. Mr. J. talked to me of the 
" wild roses growing in the Holstein summer : " why 
then did the Cimbri and Teutones emigrate ? 

What a strange thing is life and man? Were I to 
present myself at the door of the house, where my 
daughter now is, the door would be shut in my face, 
unless (as is not impossible) I knocked down the porter ; 
and if I had gone in that year (and perhaps now) to 
Drontheim (the furthest town in Norway), or into 
Holstein, I should have been received with open arms 
into the mansions of Strangers and foreigners, attached 
to me by no tie but that of mind and rumour. 

As far as Fame goes, I have had my share : it has 
indeed been leavened by other human contingencies, and 
this in a greater degree than has occurred to most literary 
men of a decent rank in life ; but on the whole I take it 
that such equipoise is the condition of humanity. 

I doubt sometimes whether, after all, a quiet and 
unagitated life would have suited me : yet I sometimes 
long for it. My earliest dreams (as most boys' dreams 
are) were martial ; but a little later they were all for 
love and retirement, till the hopeless attachment to M. 
C. began, and continued (though sedulously concealed) 

1 82 1.] THE MR. TULK. 427 

very early in my teens ; and so upwards for a time. This 
threw me out again " alone on a wide, wide sea." 

In the year 1804, I recollect meeting my Sister at 
General Harcourt's x in Portland Place. I was then one 
thing, and as she had always till then found me. When 
we met again in 1805 (she told me since), that my 
temper and disposition were so completely altered, that 
I was hardly to be recognized. I was not then sensible 
of the change, but I can believe it, and account for it. 


A private play being got up at Cambridge, a Mr. 
Tulk, greatly to the inconvenience of Actors and audience, 
declined his part on a sudden, so that it was necessary 
to make an apology to the Company. In doing this, 
Hobhouse (indignant like all the rest at this inopportune 
caprice of the Seceder) stated to the audience " that in 
"consequence of a Mr. Tulk having unexpectedly thrown 
"up his part, they must request their indulgence, etc., 
" etc." Next day, the furious Tulk demanded of Hob- 
house, " did you, Sir, or did you not use that expression ? " 
" Sir," (said Hobhouse) " I did or did not use that ex- 
" pression." " Perhaps " (said Scrope Davies, who was 
present), " you object to the indefinite article^ and prefer 
" being entitled ttie Mr. Tulk ? " The Tulk eyed Scrope 
indignantly ; but aware, probably, that the said Scrope, 
besides being a profane Jester, had the misfortune to be 
a very good shot, and had already fought two or three 
duels, he retired without further objections to either 
article, except a conditional menace if he should 
ascertain that an intention, etc., etc., etc. 

i. Letters, vol. i. p. 24, note I. 



I have been called in as Mediator or Second at least 
twenty times in violent quarrels, and have always con- 
trived to settle the business without compromising the 
honour of the parties, or leading them to mortal conse- 
quences ; and this too sometimes in very difficult and 
delicate circumstances, and having to deal with very hot 
and haughty Spirits Irishmen, Gamesters, Guardsmen, 
Captains and Cornets of horse, and the like. This was 
of course in my youth, when I lived in hot-headed 
company. I have had to carry challenges from Gentle- 
men to Noblemen, from Captains to Captains, from 
lawyers to Counsellors, and once from a Clergyman to 
an officer in the Life-guards. It may seem strange, but 
I found the latter by far the most difficult 

" . . . to compose 
The bloody duel without blows." 

The business being about a woman. I must add too 
that I never saw a woman behave so ill, like a cold- 
blooded heartless whore as she was ; but very handsome 
for all that. A certain Susan C. was she called. I never 
saw her but once, and that was to induce her but to say 
two words (which in no degree compromised herself), 
and which would have had the effect of saving a priest 
or a Lieutenant of Cavalry. She would not say them, 
and neither N. or myself (the Son of Sir E. N., and a 
friend to one of the parties) could prevail upon her to 
say them, though both of us used to deal in some sort 
with Womankind. At last I managed to quiet the 
combatants without her talisman, and, I believe, to her 
great disappointment. She was the d st b h that I 
ever saw, and I have seen a great many. Though my 
Clergyman was sure to lose either his life or his living, 

1 82 1.] SCHLEGEL'S MODESTY. 429 

he was as warlike as the Bishop of Beauvais, and would 
hardly be pacified : but then he was in love, and that is 
a martial passion. 

[Scrawled out by Byron.] 


Somebody asked Schlegel (the Dousterswivel of 
Madame de Stael) " whether he did not think Canova 
" a great Sculptor ? " " Ah ! " replied the modest Prussian, 
" did you ever see my bust by Tiecke ? " 


At Venice, in the year 1817, an order came from 
Vienna for the Archbishop to go in State to Saint Mark's 
in his Carriage and four horses, which is much the same 
as commanding the Lord Mayor of London to proceed 
through Temple Bar in his Barge. 


When I met Hudson Lowe, the Jailor, at Lord 
Holland's, before he sailed for Saint Helena, the dis- 
course turned on the battle of Waterloo. I asked him 
whether the dispositions of Napoleon were those of a 
great General : he answered disparageingly, " that they 
" were very simple" I had always thought that a degree 
of Simplicity was an ingredient of Greatness. 


I was much struck with the simplicity of Grattan's 
manners in private life : they were odd, but they were 
natural. Curran used to take him off bowing to the very 
ground, and " thanking God that he had no peculiarities 


" of gesture or appearance," in a way irresistibly ludicrous. 
And Rogers used to call him " a Sentimental Harlequin ; " 
but Rogers back-bites every body; and Curran, who 
used to quiz his great friend Godwin to his very face, 
would hardly respect a fair mark of mimicry in another. 
To be sure, Curran was admirable ! To hear his 
description of the examination of an Irish witness, was 
next to hearing his own speeches : the latter I never 
heard, but I have the former. 


I have heard that, when Grattan made his first speech 
in the English Commons, it was for some minutes doubt- 
ful whether to laugh at or cheer him. The debut of his 
predecessor, Flood, had been a complete failure, under 
nearly similar circumstances. But when the ministerial 
part of our Senators had watched Pitt (their thermometer) 
for their cue, and saw him nod repeatedly his stately nod 
of approbation, they took the hint from their huntsman, 
and broke out into the most rapturous cheers. Grattan's 
speech indeed deserved them : it was a cJief d'ceuvre. I did 
not hear that speech of his (being then at Harrow), but 
heard most of his others on the same question ; also that 
on the war of 1815. I differed from his opinion on the 
latter question, but coincided in the general admiration 
of his eloquence. 


At the Opposition Meeting of the peers in 1812 at 
Lord Grenville's, when L? Grey and he read to us the cor- 
respondence upon Moira's negociation, I sate next to the 
present Duke of Grafton. When it was over, I turned 
to him, and said, " What is to be done next ? " " Wake 
" the Duke of Norfolk " (who was snoring near us) replied 

1 82 1.] LORD ELDON. 43! 

he, "I don't think the Negociators have left anything 
" else for us to do this turn." 


In the debate, or rather discussion, afterwards in the 
House of Lords upon that very question, I sate 
immediately behind Lord Moira, who was extremely 
annoyed at G.'s speech upon the subject, and while G. 
was speaking, turned round to me repeatedly, and asked 
me whether I agreed with him? It was an awkward 
question to me who had not heard both sides. Moira 
kept repeating to me, " it was not so, it was so and so, 
" etc." I did not know very well what to think, but I 
sympathized with the acuteness of his feelings upon the 


Lord Eldon affects an Imitation of two very different 
Chancellors, Thurlow and Loughborough, and can indulge 
in an oath now and then. On one of the debates on the 
Catholic question, when we were either equal or within 
one (I forget which), I had been sent for in great haste 
to a Ball, which I quitted, I confess, somewhat reluctantly, 
to emancipate five Millions of people. I came in late, 
and did not go immediately into the body of the house, 
but stood just behind the Woolsack. Eldon turned round, 
and, catching my eye, immediately said to a peer (who 
had come to him for a few minutes on the Woolsack, as 
is the custom of his friends), " Damn them ! they'll have 
"it now, by G d! The vote that is just come in will 
" give it them." 


When I came of age, some delays on account of some 
birth and marriage certificates from Cornwall occasioned 


me not to take my seat for several weeks. When these 
were over, and I had taken the Oaths, the Chancellor 
apologized to me for the delay, observing "that these 
" forms were a part of his duty." I begged of him to 
make no apology, and added (as he certainly had shown 
no violent hurry) " Your Lordship was exactly like ' Tom 
" Thumb ' (which was then being acted), You did your 
" duty, and you did no more" 


In a certain Capital abroad, the Minister's Secretary 
(the Minister being then absent) was piqued that I did 
not call upon him. When I was gomg away, Mr. W., 
an acquaintance of mine, applied to him for my passport, 
which was sent, but at the same time accompanied by 
a formal note from the Secretary stating "that at Mr, 
" W?s request he had granted, etc.," and in such a manner 
as appeared to hint that it was only to oblige Mr. W. 
that he had given me that which in fact he had no right 
to refuse to Any-body. I wrote to him the following 
answer : " Lord B. presents his Compliments to L., and 
" is extremely obliged to Mr. W. for the passport." 


There was a Madman of the name of Battersby, that 
frequented Steevens's and the Prince of Wales's Coffee- 
houses, about the time when I was leading a loose life 
about town, before I was of age. One night he came up 
to some hapless Stranger, whose coat was not to his liking, 
and said, " Pray, Sir, did the tailor cut your coat in that 
" fashion, or the rats gnaw it ? " 


The following is (I believe) better known. A beau 
(dandies were not then christened) came into the P. of 

1 82 1.] SOTHEBY. 433 

W.'s, and exclaimed, " Waiter, bring me a glass of Madeira 
" Negus with a Jelly, and rub my plate with a Chalotte." 
This in a very soft tone of voice. A Lieutenant of the 
Navy, who sate in the next box, immediately roared out 
the following rough parody : " Waiter, bring me a glass 
" of d d stiff Grog, and rub * * with a brick-bat." 


Sotheby is a good man, rhymes well (if not wisely), 
but is a bore. He seizes you by the button. One night 
of a route at Mrs. Hope's, he had fastened upon me 
(something about Agamemnon, or Orestes, or some of 
his plays), notwithstanding my symptoms of manifest 
distress (for I was in love, and had just nicked a minute, 
when neither mothers, nor husbands, nor rivals, nor 
gossips, were near my then idol, who was beautiful as 
the Statues of the Gallery where we stood at the time) 
Sotheby I say had seized upon me by the button and 
the heart-strings, and spared neither. W. Spencer, who 
likes fun, and don't dislike mischief, saw my case, and 
coming up to us both, took me by the hand, and pathetic- 
ally bade me farewell : " for," said he, " I see it is all 
"over with you." Sotheby then went away. "Sic me 
" servavit Apollo." 

It is singular how soon we lose the impression of 
what ceases to be constantly before us. A year impairs, 
a lustre obliterates. There is little distinct left without 
an effort of memory : then indeed the lights are rekindled 
for a moment ; but who can be sure that Imagination is 
not the torch-bearer ? Let any man try at the end of ten 
years to bring before him the features, or the mind, or 
the sayings, or the habits, of his best friend, or his 
VOL. v. 2 F 


greatest man (I mean his favourite his Buonaparte, his 
this, that or 'tother), and he will be surprized at the 
extreme confusion of his ideas. I speak confidently 
on this point, having always past for one who had a 
good, aye, an excellent memory. I except indeed our 
recollections of Womankind : there is no forgetting them 
(and be d d to them) any more than any other remark- 
able Era, such as " the revolution," or " the plague," or 
"the Invasion," or "the Comet," or "the War" of such 
and such an Epoch being the favourite dates of Man- 
kind, who have so many blessings in their lot, that 
they never make their Calendars from them, being too 
common. For instance, you see "the great drought," 
" the Thames frozen over," " the Seven years war broke 
"out," the E. or F. or S. "Revolution commenced," 
" The Lisbon Earthquake," " the Lima Earthquake," "The 
" Earthquake of Calabria," the " Plague of London," 
" Ditto of Constantinople," " the Sweating Sickness," 
" The Yellow fever of Philadelphia," etc., etc., etc. ; but 
you don't see " the abundant harvest," " the fine Summer," 
" the long peace," " the wealthy speculation," the " wreck- 
" less voyage," recorded so emphatically ? By the way, 
there has been a thirty years war, and a Seventy years 
war: was there ever a Seventy or a thirty years Peace! 
Or was there ever even a day's Universal peace, except 
perhaps in China, where they have found out the 
miserable happiness of a stationary and unwarlike medio- 
crity? And is all this, because Nature is niggard or 
savage ? or Mankind ungrateful ? Let philosophers 
decide. I am none. 


In the year 1814, as Moore and I were going to dine 
with Lord Grey in P. Square, I pulled out a "Java 

1 82 1.] MEZZOPHANTI. 435 

" Gazette " (which Murray had sent to me), in which 
there was a controversy on our respective merits as 
poets. It was amusing enough that we should be pro- 
ceeding peaceably to the same table, while they were 
squabbling about us in the Indian Seas (to be sure, the 
paper was dated six months before), and filling columns 
with Batavian Criticism. But this is fame, I presume. 


In general, I do not draw well with literary men : not 
that I dislike them, but I never know what to say to 
them after I have praised their last publication. There 
are several exceptions, to be sure ; but then they have 
either been men of the world, such as Scott, and Moore, 
etc., or visionaries out of it, such as Shelley, etc. : but 
your literary every day man and I never went well in 
company especially your foreigner, whom I never could 
abide. Except Giordani, and and and (I really 
can't name any other) I do not remember a man amongst 
them, whom I ever wished to see twice, except perhaps 
Mezzophanti, who is a Monster of Languages, the Briareus 
of parts of Speech, a walking Polyglott and more, who 
ought to have existed at the time of the tower of Babel 
as universal Interpreter. He is indeed a Marvel un- 
assuming also : I tried him in all the tongues of which 
I knew a single oath (or adjuration to the Gods against 
Postboys, Lawyers, Tartars, boatmen, Sailors, pilots, 
Gondoliers, Muleteers, Camel-drivers, Vetturini, Post- 
masters, post-horses, post-houses, post-everything), and 
Egad ! he astounded me even to my English. 


Three Swedes came to Bologna, knowing no tongue 
but Swedish. The inhabitants in despair presented them 


to Mezzophanti. Mezzophanti (though a great Linguist) 
knew no more Swedish than the Inhabitants. But in 
two days, by dint of dictionary, he talked with them 
fluently and freely, so that they were astonished, and 
every body else, at his acquisition of another tongue in 
forty eight hours. I had this anecdote first from M? 
Albrizzi, and afterwards confirmed by himself and he 
is not a boaster. 


I sometimes wish that I had studied languages with 
more attention : those which I know, even the classical 
(Greek and Latin, in the usual proportion of a sixth form 
boy), and a smattering of modern Greek, the Armenian 
and Arabic Alphabets, a few Turkish and Albanian 
phrases, oaths, or requests, Italian tolerably, Spanish less 
than tolerably, French to read with ease but speak with 
difficulty or rather not at all all have been acquired 
by ear or eye, and never by anything like Study. Like 
" Edie Ochiltree," " I never dowed to bide a hard turn o' 
" wark in my life." 

To be sure, I set in zealously for the Armenian and 
Arabic, but I fell in love with some absurd womankind 
both times, before I had overcome the Characters ; and at 
Malta and Venice left the profitable Orientalists for for 
(no matter what), notwithstanding that my master, the 
Padre Pasquale Aucher (for whom, by the way, I com- 
piled the major part of two Armenian and English 
Grammars), assured me " that the terrestrial Paradise 
" had been certainly in Armenia" I went seeking it 
God knows where did I find it ? Umph ! Now and 
then, for a minute or two. 

1 82 1.] SHERIDAN'S TEARS. 437 


Of Actors, Cooke was the most natural, Kemble the 
most supernatural, Kean a medium between the two, but 
Mrs. Siddons worth them all put together, of those whom 
I remember to have seen in England. 


I have seen Sheridan weep two or three times : it 
may be that he was maudlin ; but this only renders it 
more impressive, for who would see 

" From Marlborough's eyes the tears of dotage flow, 
And Swift expire a driveller and a show ?" 

Once I saw him cry at Robins's, the Auctioneer's, after a 
splendid dinner full of great names and high Spirits. I 
had the honour of sitting next to Sheridan. The occasion 
of his tears was some observation or other upon the 
subject of the sturdiness of the Whigs in resisting Office, 
and keeping to their principles. Sheridan turned round 
" Sir, it is easy for my Lord G., or Earl G., or Marquis 
" B., or L 1 ? H., with thousands upon thousands a year 
"some of it either presently derived or inherited in Sine- 
" cures or acquisitions from the public money to boast 
"of their patriotism, and keep aloof from temptation; 
" but they do not know from what temptations those 
" have kept aloof, who had equal pride at least equal 
"talents, and not unequal passions, and nevertheless 
" knew not in the course of their lives what it was to have 
" a shilling of their own." And in saying this he wept. 


I have more than once heard Sheridan say, that he 
never " had a shilling of his own : " to be sure, he contrived 
to extract a good many of other people's. 


In 1815, I had occasion to visit my Lawyer in 
Chancery Lane: he was with Sheridan. After mutual 
greetings, etc., Sheridan retired first. Before recurring 
to my own business, I could not help enquiring that of S. 
" Oh " (replied the Attorneo), " the usual thing to stave 
" off an action from his Wine-Merchant, my Client." 
"Well" (said I) "and what do you mean to do?" 
" Nothing at all for the present," said he : " would you 
" have us proceed against old Sherry ? What would be 
" the use of it ? " And here he began laughing, and 
going over Sheridan's good gifts of Conversation. Now, 
from personal experience, I can vouch that my Attorneo 
is by no means the tenderest of men, or particularly 
accessible to any kind of impression out of the Statute or 
record. And yet Sheridan, in half an hour, had found 
the way to soften and seduce him in such a manner, that 
I almost think he would have thrown his Client (an 
honest man with all the laws and some justice on his 
side) out of the window, had he come in at the moment. 
Such was Sheridan ! He could soften an Attorney ! 
There has been nothing like it since the days of 


When the Bailiffs (for I have seen most kinds of life) 
came upon me in 1815, to seize my chattels (being a 
peer of parliament my person was beyond him), being 
curious (as is my habit), I first asked him " what Extents 
" elsewhere he had for Government ? " upon which he 
showed me one upon one house only for seventy thousand 
pounds ! Next I asked him, if he had nothing for 
Sheridan ? " Oh, Sheridan," said he : " aye, I have this " 
(pulling out a pocket-book, etc.). " But, my L., I have 
" been in Mr. Sheridan's house a twelve-month at a time : 

1 82 1.] HOPE AND MEMORY. 439 

" a civil gentleman knows how to deal with wj, etc., etc., 
" etc." Our own business was then discussed, which was 
none of the easiest for me at that time. But the Man 
was civil, and, (what I valued more), communicative. I 
had met many of his brethren years before in affairs of 
my friends (commoners, that is), but this was the first (or 
second) on my own account. A civil Man, feed accord- 
ingly : probably he anticipated as much. 


No man would live his life over again, is an old and 
true saying, which all can resolve for themselves. At 
the same time, there are probably moments in most men's 
lives, which they would live over the rest of life to regain ? 
Else, why do we live at all ? Because Hope recurs to 
Memory, both false ; but but but but and this but 
drags on till What ? I do not know, and who does ? 
" He that died o' Wednesday." By the way, there is a 
poor devil to be shot tomorrow here (Ravenna) for 
murder. He hath eaten half a Turkey for his dinner, 
besides fruit and pudding; and he refuses to confess? 
Shall I go to see him exhale ? No. And why ? Because 
it is to take place at Nine. Now, could I save him, or a 
fly even from the same catastrophe, I would out-match 
years ; but as I cannot, I will not get up earlier to see 
another man shot, than I would to run the same risk in 
person. Besides, I have seen more men than one die 
that death (and other deaths) before to-day. 

It is not cruelty which actuates mankind, but excite- 
ment, on such occasions ; at least, I suppose so. It is 
detestable to take life in that way, unless it be to preserve 
two lives. 


Old Edgeworth, the fourth or fifth Mrs. Edgeworth, 
and the Miss Edgeworth were in London, 1813. Miss 
Edgeworth liked, Mrs. Edgeworth not disliked, old Edge- 
worth a bore the worst of bores a boisterous Bore. I 
met them in society once at a breakfast of Sir H. D.'s. 
Old Edgeworth came in late, boasting that he had given 
" Dr. Parr a dressing the night before " (no such easy 
matter by the way). I thought her pleasant. They all 
abused Anna Seward's memory. 


When on the road, they heard of her brother's, and 
his Son's, death. What was to be done ? Their London 
Apparel was all ordered and made ! So they sunk his 
death for the six weeks of their Sojourn, and went into 
mourning on their way back to Ireland. Fact! 


While the Colony were in London, there was a book, 
with a Subscription for the " recall of Mrs. Siddons to 
" the Stage," going about for signatures. Moore moved 
for a similar subscription for the " recall of Mr. Edgeworth 
"to Ireland!" 


Sir Humphrey Davy told me, that the Scene of the 
French Valet and Irish postboy in " Ennui " was taken 
from his verbal description to the Edgeworths in Edge- 
worthtown of a similar fact on the road occurring to 
himself. So much the better being life. 

1 82 1.] MARY CHAWORTH. 441 


When I was fifteen years of age, it happened that in 
a Cavern in Derbyshire I had to cross in a boat (in which 
two people only could lie down) a stream which flows 
under a rock, with the rock so close upon the water, as 
to admit the boat only to be pushed on by a ferry-man 
(a sort of Charon), who wades at the stern stooping all 
the time. The Companion of my transit was M. A. C., 1 
with whom I had been long in love, and never told it, 
though sJie had discovered it without. I recollect my 
sensations, but cannot describe them and it is as well. 

We were a party a Mr. W., two Miss W.'s, Mr. and 
Mrs. Cl ke, Miss M., and my M. A. C. Alas ! why do 
I say My ? Our Union would have healed feuds, in 
which blood had been shed by our fathers ; it would have 
joined lands, broad and rich ; it would have joined at 
least one heart, and two persons not ill-matched in years 
(she is two years my elder) ; and and and what has 
been the result ? SJie has married a man older than her- 
self, been wretched, and separated. I have married, and 
am separated : and yet We are not united. 


One of my notions, different from those of my co- 
temporaries, is, that the present is not a high age of 
English Poetry : there are more poets (soi-disant) than 
ever there were, and proportionally less poetry. 

This thesis I have maintained for some years, but, 
strange to say, it meeteth not with favour from my 
brethren of the Shell. Even Moore shakes his head, 
and firmly believes that it is the grand Era of British 

I. Letters, vol. i. p. 1 6, note I. 


^riv^y o~tji, 

When I belonged to the D. L^ Committee, and was 
of the S.J. f Management, the number of plays 
upon the shelves were about jive hundred. Conceiving 
that amongst these there must be some of merit, in person 
and by proxy I caused an investigation. I do not think 
that, of those which I saw, there was one which could 
be conscientiously tolerated. There never were such 
things as most of them. 

Mathurin was very kindly recommended to me by 
Walter Scott, to whom I had recourse; firstly, in the 
hope that he would do something for us himself; and 
secondly, in my despair, that he would point out to us 
any young (or old) writer of promise. Mathurin sent 
his Bertram, and a letter without his address, so that at 
first I could give him no answer. When I at last hit 
upon his residence, I sent him a favourable answer, and 
something more substantial. His play succeeded, but 
I was at that time absent from England. 

I tried Coleridge, too ; but he had nothing feasible 
in hand at the time. Mr. Sotheby obligingly offered all 
his tragedies, and I pledged myself; and, notwithstand- 
ing many squabbles with my Committe[e]d Brethren, 
did get " Ivan " accepted, read, and the parts distributed. 
But lo ! in the very heart of the matter, upon some 
&^-ness on the part of Kean, or warmth on that of the 
Authour, Sotheby withdrew his play. 

Sir J. B. Burgess J did also present four tragedies and 
a farce, and I moved Green-room and S. Committee ; 
but they would not. 

Then the Scenes I had to go through ! The authours, 
and the authoresses, the Milliners, the wild Irishmen, 

I. Letters , vol. iii. p. 235, note I. 

l82I.] A WILD IRISHMAN. 443 

the people from Brighton, from Blackwall, from Chatham, 
from Cheltenham, from Dublin, from Dundee, who came 
in upon me ! To all of whom it was proper to give a 
civil answer, and a hearing, and a reading. Mrs. Glover's 
father, an Irish dancing-Master of Sixty years, called 
upon me to request to play " Archer" drest in silk stock- 
ings on a frosty morning, to show his legs (which were 
certainly good and Irish for his age, and had been still 
better). Miss Emma Somebody, with a play entitled 
the " Bandit of Bohemia," or some such title or produc- 
tion. Mr. O'Higgins, then resident at Richmond, with 
an Irish tragedy, in which the unities could not fail to be 
observed, for the protagonist was chained by the leg to 
a pillar during the chief part of the performance. He 
was a wild man, of a salvage (sic) appearance ; and the 
difficulty of not laughing at him was only to be got over 
by reflecting upon the probable consequences of such 

As I am really a civil and polite person, and do hate 
giving pain, when it can be avoided, I sent them up to 
Douglas Kinnaird, who is a man of business, and suffici- 
ently ready with a negative, and left them to settle with 
him. And, as at the beginning of next year, I went 
abroad, I have since been little aware of the progress of 
the theatres. 


Players are said to be an impracticable people. 
They are so. But I managed to steer clear of any 
disputes with them, and, excepting one debate with the 
Elder Byrne about Miss Smith's Pas de (Something I 
forget the technicals), I do not remember any litigation 
of my own. I used to protect Miss Smith, because she 
was like Lady Jane Harley in the face ; and likenesses 


go a great way with me. Indeed, in general, I left such 
things to my more bustling colleagues, who used to 
reprove me seriously for not being able to take such 
things in hand without buffooning with the Histrions, 
and throwing things into confusion by treating light 
matters with levity. 


Then the Committee ! then the Sub-Committee ! 
We were but few, and never agreed ! There was Peter 
Moore who contradicted Kinnaird, and Kinnaird who 
contradicted everybody : then our two managers, Rae l 
and Dibdin, 2 and our Secretary, Ward ! And yet we 
were all very zealous and in earnest to do good, and so 
forth. Hobhouse furnished us with prologues to our 
revived Old English plays, but was not pleased with me 
for complimenting him as " the Upton " of our theatre 
(Mr. Upton is or was the poet who writes the songs for 
Astley's)j and almost gave up prologuizing in consequence. 


In the Pantomime of 1815-16, there was a Repre- 
sentation of the Masquerade of 1814, given by " us 
" Youth " of Watier's Club to Wellington and Co. Douglas 
Kinnaird, and one or two others with myself, put on 
Masques, and went on the Stage amongst the " ol TroXXot," 
to see the effect of a theatre from the Stage. It is very 
grand. Douglas danced among the figuranti, too ; and 
they were puzzled to find out who we were, as being 
more than their number. It was odd enough that D. K. 
and I should have been both at the real Masquerade, 
and afterwards in the Mimic one of the same on the 
stage of D. L. Theatre. 

I. Letters, vol. iii. p. 216, note 2, 2. Ibid., p. 212, note I. 


When I was a youth, I was reckoned a good actor. 
Besides " Harrow Speeches " (in which I shone) I en- 
acted "Penruddock" in the "Wheel of Fortune," and 
" Tristram Fickle " in Allingham's farce of" the Weather- 
" cock," for three nights (the duration of our compact), 
in some private theatricals at Southwell in 1806, with 
great applause. The occasional prologue for our volun- 
teer play was also of my composition. The other 
performers were young ladies and gentlemen of the 
neighbourhood ; and the whole went off with great effect 
upon our good-natured audience. 


When I first went up to College, it was a new and a 
heavy hearted scene for me. Firstly, I so much dis- 
liked leaving Harrow, that, though it was time (I being 
seventeen), it broke my very rest for the last quarter with 
counting the days that remained. I always hated Harrow 
till the last year and half, but then I liked it. Secondly, 
I wished to go to Oxford and not to Cambridge. Thirdly, 
I was so completely alone in this new world, that it half 
broke my Spirits. My companions were not unsocial, 
but the contrary lively, hospitable, of rank, and fortune, 
and gay far beyond my gaiety. I mingled with, and 
dined and supped, etc., with them; but, I know not how, 
it was one of the deadliest and heaviest feelings of my 
life to feel that I was no longer a boy. From that 
moment I began to grow old in my own esteem ; and 
in my esteem age is not estimable. I took my gradations 
in the vices with great promptitude, but they were not 
to my taste; for my early passions, though violent in 
the extreme, were concentrated, and hated division or 


spreading abroad. I could have left or lost the world 
with or for that which I loved ; but, though my tempera- 
ment was naturally burning, I could not share in the 
common place libertinism of the place and time without 
disgust. And yet this very disgust, and my heart thrown 
back upon itself, threw me into excesses perhaps more 
fatal than those from which I shrunk, as fixing upon me 
(at a time) the passions, which, spread amongst many, 
would have hurt only myself. 


People have wondered at the Melancholy which runs 
through my writings. Others have wondered at my 
personal gaiety ; but I recollect once, after an hour, in 
which I had been sincerely and particularly gay, and 
rather brilliant, in company, my wife replying to me 
when I said (upon her remarking my high spirits) " and 
" yet, Bell, I have been called and mis-called Melancholy 
" you must have seen how falsely, frequently." " No, 
" B.," (she answered) " it is not so : at heart you are the 
" most melancholy of mankind, and often when apparently 
" gayest." 


If I could explain at length the real causes which 
have contributed to increase this perhaps natural tempera- 
ment of mine, this Melancholy which hath made me 
a bye-word, nobody would wonder ; but this is impossible 
without doing much mischief. I do not know what other 
men's lives have been, but I cannot conceive anything 
more strange than some of the earlier parts of mine. 
I have written my memoirs, but omitted all the really 
conseq^lential and important parts, from deference to the 
dead, to the living, and to those who must be both. 



I sometimes think that I should have written the 
whole as a lesson, but it might have proved a lesson to be 
learnt rather than avoided; for passion is a whirlpool, 
which is not to be viewed nearly without attraction from 
its Vortex. 


I must not go on with these reflections, or I shall be 
letting out some secret or other to paralyze posterity. 


One night, Scrope Davies at a gaming house (before 
I was of age), being tipsy as he usually was at the 
Midnight hour, and having lost monies, was in vain 
intreated by his friends, one degree less intoxicated than 
himself, to come or go home. In despair, he was left to 
himself, and to the demons of the dice-box. Next day, 
being visited, about two of the Clock, by some friends 
just risen with a severe headache and empty pockets 
(who had left him losing at four or five in the morning), 
he was found in a sound sleep, without a night-cap, and 
not particularly encumbered with bed-cloathes: a Chamber- 
pot stood by his bed-side, brim-fiill of Bank Notes ! 

all won, God knows how, and crammed, Scrope knew 
not where ; but there they were, all good legitimate notes, 
and to the amount of some thousand pounds. 


At Brighthelmstone (I love orthography at length), in 
the year 1808, Hobhouse, Scrope Davies, Major Cooper, 
and myself, having dined together with Lord Delvin, 
Count (I forget the french Emigrant nomenclature), and 


others, did about the middle of the night (we four) 
proceed to a house of Gambling, being then amongst us 
possest of about twenty guineas of ready cash, with which 
we had to maintain as many of your whorson horses and 
servants, besides house-hold and whore-hold expenditure. 
We had, I say, twenty guineas or so, and we lost them, 
returning home in bad humour. Cooper went home. 
Scrope and Hobhouse and I (it being high Summer), did 
firstly strip and plunge into the Sea, whence, after half 
an hour's swimming of those of us (Scrope and I) who 
could swim, we emerged in our dressing-gowns to discuss 
a bottle or two of Champaigne and Hock (according to 
choice) at our quarters. In course of this discussion, 
words arose ; Scrope seized H. by the throat ; H. seized 
a knife in self-defence, and stabbed Scrope in the shoulder 
to avoid being throttled. Scrope fell bathed in blood 
and wine for the bottle fell with him, being infinitely 
intoxicated with Gaming, Sea-bathing at two in the 
morning, and Supplementary Champaigne. The skirmish 
had past before I had time or thought to interfere. Of 
course I lectured against gambling 

" Pugnare Thracum est," 

and then examined Scrope's wound, which proved to be 
a gash long and broad, but not deep nor dangerous. 
Scrope was furious : first he wanted to fight, then to go 
away in a post-chaise, and then to shoot himself, which 
latter intention I offered to forward, provided that he did 
not use my pistols, which, in case of suicide, would 
become a deo-dand to the King. At length, with many 
oaths and some difficulty, he was gotten to bed. In the 
morning, Cool reflection and a Surgeon came, and, by 
dint of loss of blood, and sticking plaister, the quarrel 
(which Scrope had begun), was healed as well as the 


wound, and we were all friends as for years before and 


My first dash into poetry was as early as 1800. It 
was the ebullition of a passion for my first Cousin 
Margaret Parker (daughter and grand-daughter of the 
two Admirals Parker), 1 one of the most beautiful of 
evanescent beings. I have long forgotten the verses, but 
it would be difficult for me to forget her. Her dark 
eyes ! her long eye-lashes ! her completely Greek cast of 
face and figure ! I was then about twelve She rather 
older, perhaps a year. She died about a year or two 
afterwards, in consequence of a fall which injured her 
spine and induced consumption. Her Sister, Augusta 
(by some thought still more beautiful), died of the same 
malady ; and it was indeed in attending her that Margaret 
met with the accident, which occasioned her own death. 
My Sister told me that, when she went to see her shortly 
before her death, upon accidentally mentioning my name, 
Margaret coloured through the paleness of mortality to 
the eyes, to the great astonishment of my Sister, who (re- 
siding with her Grandmother, Lady Holderness) saw at that 
time but little of me for family reasons, knew nothing of 
our attachment, nor could conceive why my name should 
affect her at such a time. I knew nothing of her illness 
(being at Harrow and in the country), till she was gone. 

Some years after, I made an attempt at an Elegy. 
A very dull one. I do not recollect scarcely any thing 
equal to the transparent beauty of my cousin, or to the 
sweetness of her temper, during the short period of our 
intimacy. She looked as if she had been made out of 
a rainbow all beauty and peace. 

I. Letters, vol. i. p. 7, note I. 
VOL. V. 2 G 


My passion had its usual effects upon me: I could 
not sleep, could not eat ; I could not rest ; and although 
I had reason to know that she loved me, it was the 
torture of my life to think of the time which must elapse 
before we could meet again being usually about tivelve 
hours of separation ! But I was a fool then, and am not 
much wiser now. 


My passions were developed very early so early, 
that few would believe me, if I were to state the period, 
and the facts which accompanied it. Perhaps this was 
one of the reasons which caused the anticipated melancholy 
of my thoughts having anticipated life. 

My earlier poems are the thoughts of one at least ten 
years older than the age at which they were written : I 
don't mean for their solidity, but their Experience. The 
two first Cantos of C ? H? were completed at twenty two, 
and they are written as if by a man older than I shall 
probably ever be. 

[8 1 omitted by Byron.] 


Upon Parnassus, going to the fountain of Delphi 
(Castri), in 1809, I saw a flight of twelve Eagles 
(Hobhouse says they are Vultures at least in conversa- 
tion), and I seized the Omen. On the day before, I 
composed the lines to Parnassus (in Childe Harold), and, 
on beholding the birds, had a hope that Apollo had 
accepted my homage. I have at least had the name 
and fame of a Poet during the poetical period of life 
(from twenty to thirty) : whether it will last is another 


matter ; but I have been a votary of the Deity and the 
place, and am grateful for what he has done in my 
behalf, leaving the future in his hands as I left the past. 


Like Sylla, I have always believed that all things 
depend upon Fortune, and nothing upon ourselves. I 
am not aware of any one thought or action worthy of 
being called good to myself or others, which is not to be 
attributed to the Good Goddess, Fortune ! 


Two or three years ago, I thought of going to one of 
the Americas, English or Spanish. But the accounts 
sent from England, in consequence of my enquiries, dis- 
couraged me. After all, I believe most countries, 
properly balanced, are equal to a Stranger (by no means 
to the native, though). I remembered General Ludlow's 
domal inscription : 

" Omne solum forti patria " 

And sate down free in a country of Slavery for many 
centuries. But there is no freedom, even for Masters, in 
the midst of slaves : it makes my blood boil to see the 
thing. I sometimes wish that I was the Owner of Africa, 
to do at once, what Wilberforce will do in time, viz. 
sweep Slavery from her desarts, and look on upon the 
first dance of their Freedom. 

As to political slavery so general it is man's own 
fault ; if they will be slaves, let them ! Yet it is but " a 
" word and a blow." See how England formerly, France, 
Spain, Portugal, America, Switzerland, freed themselves ! 
There is no one instance of a long contest, in which men 
did not triumph over Systems. If Tyranny misses her 


first spring, she is cowardly as the tiger, and retires to be 


An Italian (the younger Count Ruota), writing from 
Ravenna to his friend at Rome in 1820, says of me, by 
way of compliment, " that in society no one would take 
" me for an Englishman, though he believes that I am 
" English at bottom my manners were so different." 
This he meant as a grand eulogy, and I accept it as such. 
The letter was shown to me this year by the Corre- 
spondent, Count P. G., or by his 


I have been a reviewer. In " the Monthly Review " 
I wrote some articles, which were inserted. This was in 
the latter part of 1811. In 1807, in a Magazine called 
" Monthly Literary Recreations," I reviewed Words- 
worth's trash of that time. Excepting these, I cannot 
accuse myself of anonymous Criticism (that I recollect), 
though I have been offered more than one review in our 
principal Journals. 


Till I was eighteen years old (odd as it may seem), I 
had never read a review. But, while at Harrow, my 
general information was so great on modern topics, as to 
induce a suspicion that I could only collect so much 
information from review s> because I was never seen read- 
ing, but always idle and in mischief, or at play. The 
truth is that I read eating, read in bed, read when no one 
else reads ; and had read all sorts of reading since I was 
five years old, and yet never met with a review, which is 
the only reason that I know of why I should not have 


read them. But it is true ; for I remember when Hunter 
and Curzon, in 1804, told me this opinion at Harrow, I 
made them laugh by my ludicrous astonishment in asking 
them, " what is a review ? " To be sure, they were 
then less common. In three years more, I was better 
acquainted with that same, but the first I ever read was 
in 1806-7. 


At School, I was (as I have said) remarked for the 
extent and readiness of my general information ; but in 
all other respects idle ; capable of great sudden exertions 
(such as thirty or forty Greek Hexameters of course 
with such prosody as it pleased God), but of few con- 
tinuous drudgeries. My qualities were much more 
oratorical and martial, than poetical ; and Dr. D., my 
grand patron (our head-master), had a great notion that 
I should turn out an Orator, from my fluency, my turbu- 
lence, my voice, my copiousness of declamation, and my 
action. I remember that my first declamation astonished 
him into some unwonted (for he was economical of such), 
and sudden compliments, before the declaimers at our 
first rehearsal. My first Harrow verses (that is, English 
as exercises), a translation of a chorus from the Prome- 
theus of Aeschylus, were received by him but cooly : no 
one had the least notion that I should subside into 


Peel, the Orator and Statesman (" that was, or is, or 
" is to be "), was my form fellow, and we were both at 
the top of our remove (a public School Phrase). We 
were on good terms, but his brother was my intimate 
friend. There were always great hopes of Peel amongst 


us all Masters and Scholars, and he has not disappointed 
them. As a Scholar, he was greatly my superior: as 
a declaimer, and Actor, I was reckoned at least his 
equal. As a school boy out of school, I was always in 
scrapes, and he never ; and in School he always knew his 
lesson, and I rarely; but when I knew it, I knew it 
nearly as well. In general information, history, etc., etc., 
I think I was his Superior, as also of most boys of my 

89 [twice]. 

The prodigy of our School days was George Sinclair 
(son of Sir John) : he made exercises for half the School 
(literally), verses at will, and themes without it. When in 
the Shell, he made exercises for his Uncle, Dudley 
Macdonald (a dunce who could only play upon the flute), 
in the sixth. He was a friend of mine, and in the same 
remove, and used at times to beg me to let him do my 
exercise a request always most readily accorded, upon 
a pinch, or when I wanted to do something else, which 
was usually once an hour. On the other hand, he was 
pacific, and I savage ; so I fought for him, or thrashed 
others for him, or thrashed himself to make him thrash 
others, whom it was necessary, as a point of honour and 
stature, that he should so chastise. Or, we talked politics, 
for he was a great politician, and were very good friends. 
I have some of his letters, written to me from School, 


Clayton was another School Monster of learning, and 
talent, and hope ; but what has become of him I do not 
know : he was certainly a Genius. 

1 82 1.] LORD CLARE. 455 

My School friendships were with me passions (for I 
was always violent), but I do not know that there is one 
which has endured (to be sure, some have been cut short 
by death) till now. That with Lord Clare : began one of 
the earliest and lasted longest, being only interrupted by 
distance, that I know of. I never hear the word " Clare " 
without a beating of the heart even now, and I write it 
with the feelings of 1803-4-5 ad infinitum. 


In 1812, at Middelton (Lord Jersey's), amongst a 
goodly company of Lords, Ladies, and wits, etc., there 
was poor old Vice Leach, the lawyer, attempting to play 
off the fine gentleman. His first exhibition an attempt 
on horseback, I think, to escort the women God knows 
where, in the month of November, ended in a fit of the 
Lumbago as Lord Ogleby says, " a grievous enemy to 
"Gallantry and address" and if he could but have 
heard Lady Jersey quizzing him (as I did) next day for 
the cause of his malady, I don't think that he would have 
turned a "Squire of dames" in a hurry again. He 
seemed to me the greatest fool (in that line) I ever saw. 
This was the last I saw of old Vice Leach, except in 
town, where he was creeping into assemblies, and trying 
to look young and gentlemanly. 


Erskine too ! Erskine 2 was there good, but intoler- 
able. He jested, he talked, he did every thing admirably, 
but then he would be applauded for the same thing twice 

1. Letters, vol. i. p. 116, note I. 

2. Ibid.) vol. ii. p. 390, note 5. 


over : he would read his own verses, his own paragraphs, 
and tell his own story, again and again and then " the 
" trial by Jury ! ! ! " I almost wished it abolished, for I 
sate next him at dinner. As I had read his published 
speeches, there was no occasion to repeat them to me. 

Chester (the fox hunter), surnamed " Cheeks Chester" 
and I sweated the Claret, being the only two who did so. 
Cheeks, who loves his bottle, and had no notion of meet- 
ing with a "bon vivant" in a scribbler, in making my 
eulogy to somebody one evening, summed it up in 
" By G d, he drinks like a Man!" 


Nobody drank, however, but Cheeks and I. To be 
sure, there was little occasion, for we swept off what was 
on the table (a most splendid board, as may be supposed, 
at Jersey's) very sufficiently. However, we carried our 
liquor discreetly, like " the Baron of Bradwardine." 


If I had to live over again, I do not know what I 
would change in my life, unless it were for not to have 
lived at all. All history and experience, and the rest, 
teaches us that the good and evil are pretty equally 
balanced in this existence, and that what is most to be 
desired is an easy passage out of it. 

What can it give us but years ? and those have little 
of good but their ending. 


Of the Immortality of the Soul, it appears to me that 
there can be little doubt, if we attend for a moment to 


the action of Mind. It is in perpetual activity. I used 
to doubt of it, but reflection has taught me better. It 
acts also so very independent of body : in dreams for 
instance incoherently and madly, I grant you ; but still 
it is Mind, and much more Mind than when we are awake. 
Now, that this should not act separately, as well as jointly, 
who can pronounce ? The Stoics, Epictetus and Marcus 
Aurelius, call the present state " a Soul which drags a 
" Carcase : " a heavy chain, to be sure ; but all chains, 
being material, may be shaken off. 

How far our future life will be individual, or, rather, 
how far it will at all resemble our present existence, is 
another question ; but that the Mind is eternal, seems as 
probable as that the body is not so. Of course, I have 
ventured upon the question without recurring to Revela- 
tion, which, however, is at least as rational a solution of 
it as any other. 

A material resurrection seems strange, and even 
absurd, except for purposes of punishment; and all 
punishment, which is to revenge rather than correct, must 
be morally wrong. And when the World is at an end, 
what moral or warning purpose can eternal tortures 
answer ? Human passions have probably disfigured the 
divine doctrines here, but the whole thing is inscrutable. 
It is useless to tell me not to reason, but to believe. You 
might as well tell a man not to wake but sleep. And then 
to bully with torments ! and all that ! I cannot help 
thinking that the menace of Hell makes as many devils, 
as the severe penal codes of inhuman humanity make 

Man is born passionate of body, but with an innate 
though secret tendency to the love of Good in his Main- 
spring of Mind. But God help us all ! It is at present 
a sad jar of atoms. 



Matter is eternal, always changing, but reproduced, 
and, as far as we can comprehend Eternity, Eternal ; and 
why not Mind? Why should not the Mind act with and 
upon the Universe ? as portions of it act upon and with 
the congregated dust called Mankind? See, how one 
man acts upon himself and others, or upon multitudes ? 
The same Agency, in a higher and purer degree, may act 
upon the Stars, etc., ad infinitum. 


I have often been inclined to Materialism in philo- 
sophy but could never bear its introduction into 
Christianity, which appears to me essentially founded 
upon the Soul. For this reason, Priestley's Christian 
Materialism always struck me as deadly. Believe the 
resurrection of the body, if you will, but not without a 
Soul. The devil's in it, if, after having had a Soul (as 
surely the Mind, or whatever you call it, is) in this world, 
we must part with it in the next, even for an Immortal 
Materiality. I own my partiality for Spirit. 


I am always most religious upon a sun-shiny day ; as 
if there was some association between an internal approach 
to greater light and purity, and the kindler of this dark 
lanthorn of our external existence. 


The Night is also a religious concern ; and even more 
so, when I viewed the Moon and Stars through Herschell's 
telescope, and saw that they were worlds. 



If, according to some speculations, you could prove 
the World many thousand years older than the Mosaic 
Chronology, or if you could knock up Adam and Eve 
and the Apple and Serpent, still what is to be put up in 
their stead ? or how is the difficulty removed ? Things 
must have had a beginning, and what matters it when or 

I sometimes think that Man may be the relic of some 
higher material being, wrecked in a former world, and 
degenerated in the hardships and struggle through Chaos 
into Conformity or something like it; as we see 
Laplanders, Esquimaux, etc., inferior in the present state, 
as the Elements become more inexorable. But even then 
this higher pre-Adamite supposititious Creation must have 
had an Origin and a Creator ; for a Creator is a more 
natural imagination than a fortuitous concourse of atoms. 
All things remount to a fountain, though they may flow to 
an Ocean. 


What a strange thing is the propagation of life ! A 
bubble of Seed * * * might (for aught we know) have 
formed a Caesar or a Buonaparte: there is nothing 
remarkable recorded of their Sires, that I know of. 


Lord Kames has said (if I misquote not), " that a 
" power to call up agreeable ideas at will would be 
" something greater for mortals than all the boons of a 
" fairy tale." 

I have found increasing upon me (without sufficient 
cause at times) the depression of Spirits (with few 


intervals), which I have some reason to believe constitu- 
tional or inherited. 


Plutarch says, in his life of Lysander, that Aristotle 
observes, "that in general great Geniuses are of a 
"melancholy turn, and instances Socrates, Plato, and 
" Hercules (or Heracleitus), as examples, and Lysander, 
"though not while young, yet as inclined to it when 
" approaching towards age." Whether I am a Genius or 
not, I have been called such by my friends as well as 
enemies, and in more countries and languages than one, 
and also within a no very long period of existence. Of 
my Genius, I can say nothing, but of my melancholy, that 
it is " increasing and ought to be diminished " but how ? 


I take it that most men are so at bottom, but that it 
is only remarked in the remarkable. The Duchesse de 
Broglie, in reply to a remark of mine on the errors of 
clever people, said, " that they were not worse than others, 
" only being more in view, more noted, especially in all 
" that could reduce them to the rest, or raise the rest to 
" them." In 1816, this was. 


In fact (I suppose that), if the follies of fools were all 
set down like those of the wise, the wise (who seem at 
present only a better sort of fools), would appear almost 


I have met George Colman occasionally, and thought 
him extremely pleasant and convivial. Sheridan's humour, 


or rather wit, was always saturnine, and sometimes 
savage : he never laughed (at least that / saw, and I 
watched him), but Colman did. I have got very drunk 
with them both ; but, if I had to choose, and could not 
have both at a time, I should say, " let me begin the 
" evening with Sheridan, and finish it with Colman." 
Sheridan for dinner Colman for Supper. Sheridan for 
Claret or port ; but Colman for every thing, from the 
Madeira and Champaigne at dinner the Claret with a 
layer of port between the Glasses up to the Punch of 
the Night, and down to the Grog or Gin and water of 
day-break. All these I have threaded with both the 
same. Sheridan was a Grenadier Company of Life- 
Guards, but Colman a whole regiment of tight Infantry, 
to be sure, but still a regiment. 

1 08. 

Alcibiades is said to have been " successful in all his 
" battles ; " but what battles ? Name them ! If you 
mention Caesar, or Annibal, or Napoleon, you at once 
rush upon Pharsalia, Munda, Alesia, Cannae, Thrasimene, 
Trebia, Lodi, Marengo, Jena, Austerlitz, Friedland, 
Wagram, Moskwa ; but it is less easy to pitch upon the 
victories of Alcibiades, though they may be named too 
though not so readily as the Leuctra and Mantinea of 
Epaminondas, the Marathon of Miltiades, the Salamis of 
Themistocles, and the Thermopylae of Leonidas. 

Yet upon the whole it may be doubted, whether there 
be a name of Antiquity, which comes down with such a 
general charm as that of Alcibiades. Why? I cannot 
answer : who can ? 



The vanity of Victories is considerable. Of all who 
fell at Waterloo or Trafalgar, ask any man in company to 
name you ten off hand : they will stick at Nelson ; the 
other will survive himself. Nelson was a hero : the other 
is a mere Corporal, dividing with Prussians and Spaniards 
the luck, which he never deserved. He even but I hate 
the fool, and will be silent. 


The Miscreant Wellington is the Cub of Fortune, but 
she will never lick him into shape : if he lives, he will be 
beaten that's certain. Victory was never before wasted 
upon such an unprofitable soil, as this dunghill of Tyranny, 
whence nothing springs but Viper's eggs. 


I remember seeing Blucher in the London Assemblies, 
and never saw anything of his age less venerable. With 
the voice and manners of a recruiting Sergeant, he pre- 
tended to the honours of a hero ; just as if a stone could 
be worshipped, because a Man had stumbled over it. 


There is nothing left for Mankind but a Republic, 
and I think that there are hopes of such. The two 
Americas (South and North) have it ; Spain and Portugal 
approach it ; all thirst for it. Oh Washington ! 


Pisa, NovT 5'!' 1821. 

"There is a strange coincidence sometimes in the 
"little things of this world, Sancho," says Sterne 


in a letter (if I mistake not) ; and so I have often 
found it. 

Page 128, article 91,' of this collection of scattered 
things, I had alluded to my friend Lord Clare in terms 
such as my feelings suggested. About a week or two 
afterwards, I met him on the road between Imola and 
Bologna, after not having met for seven or eight years. 
He was abroad in 1814, and came home just as I set out 
in 1816. 

This meeting annihilated for a moment all the years 
between the present time and the days of Harrow. It 
was a new and inexplicable feeling, like rising from the 
grave, to me. Clare, too, was much agitated more in 
appearance than even myself; for I could feel his heart 
beat to his fingers' ends, unless, indeed, it was the pulse 
of my own which made me think so. He told me that 
I should find a note from him, left at Bologna. I did. 
We were obliged to part for our different journeys he 
for Rome, I for Pisa; but with the promise to meet 
again in Spring. We were but five minutes together, 
and in the public road ; but I hardly recollect an hour of 
my existence which could be weighed against them. He 
had heard that I was coming on, and had left his letter 
for me at B., because the people with whom he was 
travelling could not wait longer. 

Of all I have ever known, he has always been the 
least altered in every thing from the excellent qualities 
and kind affections which attached me to him so strongly 
at School. I should hardly have thought it possible for 
Society (or the World as it is called), to leave a being with 
so little of the leaven of bad passions. I do not speak 
from personal experience only, but from all I have ever 
heard of him from others during absence and distance. 
I. See ante, p. 455. 



I met with Rogers at Bologna : staid a day there, 
crossed the Appennines with him. He remained at 
Florence; I went on to Pisa 8 b ! e 29, 30^ etc., 1821. 


I re-visited the Florence Gallery, etc. My former 
impressions were confirmed; but there were too many 
visitors there, to allow me to feel any thing properly. 
When we were (about thirty or forty) all stuffed into the 
Cabinet of Gems, and knick-knackeries, in a corner of 
one of the Galleries, I told R. that it " felt like being in 
" the Watch-house." I left him to make his obeisances 
to some of his acquaintances, and strolled on alone the 
only few minutes I could snatch of any feeling for the 
works around me. I do not mean to apply this to a 
tcte a fete scrutiny with Rogers, who has an excellent 
taste and deep feeling for the Arts (indeed much more of 
both than I can possess ; for of the former I have not 
much) ; but to the crowd of jostling starers and travelling 
talkers around me. 

I heard one bold Briton declare to the woman on his 
arm, looking at the Venus of Titian, " Well, now, this is 
" really very fine indeed," an observation, which, like 
that of the landlord in Joseph Andrews " on the certainty 
"of death," was (as the landlord's wife observed), 
" extremely true." 

In the Pitti palace, I did not omit Goldsmith's pre- 
scription for a Connoisseur, viz : " that the pictures would 
" have been better, if the painter had taken more pains, 
" and to praise the works of Pietro Perugino." 



I have lately been reading Fielding over again. 
They talk of Radicalism, Jacobinism, etc., in England (I 
am told), but they should turn over the pages of" Jonathan 
" Wild the Great." The inequality of conditions, and 
the littleness of the great, were never set forth in stronger 
terms; and his contempt for Conquerors and the like 
is such, that, had he lived now, he would have been 
denounced in " the Courier " as the grand Mouth-piece 
and Factionary of the revolutionists. And yet I never 
recollect to have heard this turn of Fielding's mind 
noticed, though it is obvious in every page. 


The following dialogue passed between me and a 
very pretty peasant Girl (Rosa Benini, married to 
Domenico Ovioli, or Oviuoli, the Vetturino) at Ravenna. 

Rosa. " What is the Pope ? " 

I. " Don't you know?" 

Rosa. " No, I don't know. What or who is he ? Is 

I. " He is an old man." 

Rosa. "What nonsense to make such a fuss about 
" an old man. Have you ever seen him ? " 

I. " Yes, at Rome." 

Rosa. " You English don't obey the Pope ? " 

I. " No, we don't ; but you do." 

Rosa. " I don't know what I believe, but the priests 
" talk about him. I am sure I did not know what he 
" was." 

This dialogue I have translated nearly verbatim, and 
I don't think that I have either added to or taken away 
from it. The speaker was under eighteen, and an old 
VOL. v. 2 H 


acquaintance of mine. It struck me as odd that I should 
have to instruct her who the Pope was : I think they 
might have found it out without me by this time. The 
fact is indisputable, and occurred but a few weeks ago, 
before I left Ravenna. 

Pisa, Nov^ 6"? 1821. 


Oh ! talk not to me of a name great in story 
The days of our Youth are the days of our Glory, 
And the myrtle and ivy of sweet two and twenty 
Are worth all your laurels though ever so plenty. 


What are garlands and crowns to the brow that is 

wrinkled ? 

'Tis but as a dead flower with May-dew besprinkled : 
Then away with all such from the head that is hoary, 
What care I for the wreaths that can only give Glory ? 


Oh ! Fame ! if I e'er took delight in thy praises, 
'Twas less for the sake of thy high-sounding phrases, 
Than to see the bright eyes of the dear One discover 
She thought that I was not unworthy to love her. 


There chiefly I sought thee, there only I found thee ; 
Her Glance was the best of the rays that surround thee, 
When it sparkled o'er aught that was bright in my story, 
I knew it was love, and I felt it was Glory. 

I composed these stanzas (except the fourth added 
now) a few days ago, on the road from Florence to Pisa. 

Pisa, Nov^ 6'! 1 1821. 

l82I.] AN ONLY CHILD. 467 


My daughter Ada, on her recent birthday the other 
day (the lo'! 1 of December 1821), completed her sixth 
year. Since she was a Month old, or rather better, I 
have not seen her. But I hear that she is a fine child, 
with a violent temper. 

I have been thinking of an odd circumstance. My 
daughter, my wife, my half sister, my mother, my sister's 

123 4 

mother, my natural daughter, and myself, are or were all 

56 7 

only children. My sister's Mother (Lady Conyers) had 
only my half sister by that second marriage (herself too 
an only child), and my father had only me (an only child) 
by his second marriage with my Mother (an only child 
too). Such a complication of only children, all tending 
to one family ', is singular enough, and looks like fatality 
almost. But the fiercest Animals have the rarest numbers 
in their litters, as Lions, tigers, and even Elephants which 
are mild in comparison. 

1 20. 

May !#!> 1822. 

I have not taken up this sort of Journal for many 
months: shall I continue it? "Chicosa?" 

I have written little this year, but a good deal last 
(1821). Five plays in all (two yet unpublished), some 
Cantos, etc. I have begun one or two things since, but 
under some discouragement, or rather indignation at the 
brutality of the attacks, which I hear (for I have seen but 
few of them) have been multiplied in every direction 
against me and my recent writings. But the English 
dishonour themselves more than me by such conduct. 
It is strange, but the Germans say that I am more popular 
in Germany by far than in England, and I have heard the 


Americans say as much of America. The French, too, 
have printed a considerable number of translations in 
prose ! with good success ; but their predilection (if it 
exists) depends, I suspect, upon their belief that I have 
no great passion for England or the English. It would 
be singular if I had ; however, I wish them no harm. 

I2I. 1 

i. Here the manuscript ends. 



DECEMBER, 1821. 

954. To John Murray. 

Pisa, November 3, 1821. 

DEAR MORAY, The two passages cannot be altered 
without making Lucifer talk like the Bishop of Lincoln l 
which would not be in the character of the former. 
The notion is from Cuvier 2 (that of the old Worlds), as 
I have explained in an additional note to the preface. 
The other passage is also in character: if nonsense so 
much the better, because then it can do no harm, and 
the sillier Satan is made, the safer for every body. As 
to " alarms," etc., do you really think such things ever 
led any body astray? Are these people more impious 

1. Byron probably contrasts Lucifer with the Bishop of Lincoln, 
from the alliteration or from their association in the proverb, " The 
" devil looks over Lincoln." The same reference to the devil as 
"overseer," or Bishop, of Lincoln occurs in Don Juan (Canto 
XVI. stanza Ixxxii.), where preferment gave " Peter Pith" 

"... to lay the devil who looks o'er Lincoln, 

A fat fen vicarage, and nought to think on." 
Dr. Arnold, speaking of Cain, used to say, " There is something to 
" me almost awful in meeting suddenly, in the works of such a man, 
"so great and solemn a truth as is expressed in that speech of 
" Lucifer, ' He who bows not to God hath bowed to me ' " (Stanley's 
Life of Arnold, ed. 1887, vol. i. p. 263, note), 

2. See p. 367, note 2. 


than Milton's Satan? or the Prometheus of ^Eschylus? 
or even than the Sadducees of your envious parson, the 
Fall of Jerusalem fabricator? 1 Are not Adam, Eve, 
Adah, and Abel, as pious as the Catechism ? 

Gifford is too wise a man to think that such things 
can have any serious effect : who was ever altered by a 
poem? I beg leave to observe, that there is no creed 
nor personal hypothesis of mine in all this : but I was 
obliged to make Cain and Lucifer talk consistently, and 
surely this has always been permitted to poesy. Cain 
is a proud man : if Lucifer promised him kingdoms, etc., 
it would elate him : the object of the Demon is to depress 
him still further in his own estimation than he was before, 
by showing him infinite things and his own abasement, 
till he falls into the frame of mind that leads to the 
Catastrophe, from mere internal irritation, not premedi- 
tation, or envy of Abel (which would have made him 
contemptible), but from the rage and fury against the 
inadequacy of his state to his conceptions, and which 
discharges itself rather against Life, and the Author of 
Life, than the mere living. 

His subsequent remorse is the natural effect of looking 
on his sudden deed. Had the deed been premeditated, 
his repentance would have been tardier. 

The three last MS. lines of Eve's curse are replaced 
from memory on the proofs, but incorrectly (for I keep 
no copies). Either keep these three, or replace them with 
the other three, whichever are thought least bad by Mr. 
Gifford. There is no occasion for a revise; it is only 
losing time. 

Either dedicate it to Walter Scott, 2 or, if you think he 

1 . The Rev. H. H. Milman. 

2. Cain was dedicated to Scott : see his letter accepting the 
dedication, Letters, vol. vi., Letter 969, note. 

1 82 1.] A PERSECUTED BOOK. 471 

would like the dedication of The Foscaris better, put the 
dedication to The Foscaris. Ask him which. 

Your first note was queer enough ; but your two other 
letters, with Moore's and Gifford's opinions, set all right 
again. I told you before that I can never recast any 
thing. I am like the Tiger : if I miss the first spring, I 
go growling back to my Jungle again ; but if I do hit, it 
is crushing. Now for Mr. Mawman, I received him 
civilly as your friend, and he spoke of you in a friendly 
manner. As one of the squadron of Scribblers I could 
not but pay due reverence to a commissioned officer. 

I gave him that book with the inscription to show to 
you, that you might correct the errors. With the rest I 
can have nothing to do; but he has served you very 
right. You have played the stepmother to D\pii\ J\uan\ 
throughout, either ashamed or afraid, or negligent, to your 
own loss and nobody's credit. Who ever heard before of 
a ptiblisher's not putting his name ? The reasons for my 
anonyme I stated; they were family ones entirely. Some 
travelling Englishmen whom I met the other day at 
Bologna told me, that you affect to wish to be considered 
as not having anything to do with that work, which, by 
the way, is sad half and half dealing for you will be a 
long time before you publish a better poem. 

You seem hurt at the words " the publisher" What ! 
you who won't put your name on the title page would 
have had me stick J. M. Esq' e on the blank leaf. No, 
Murray ! you are an excellent fellow, a little variable and 
somewhat of the opinion of every body you talk with 
(particularly the last person you see), but a good fellow 
for all that ; yet nevertheless I can't tell you that I think 
you have acted very gallantly by that persecuted book 
which has made its way entirely by itself, without the 
light of your countenance, or any kind of encouragement 


critical or bibliopolar. You disparaged the last three 
cantos to me, and kept them back above a year ; but I 
have heard from England that (notwithstanding the 
errors of the press) they are well thought of; for instance, 
by American Irving, which last is a feather in my (fool's) 

You have received my letter (open) through Mr. 
Kinnaird, and so, pray, send me no more reviews of any 
kind. I will read no more of evil or good in that line. 
Walter Scott has not read a review of himself for thirteen 

The bust is not my property, but Hob/wise's. I 
addressed it to you as an Admiralty man, great at the 
Custom house. Pray deduct the expences of the same, 
and all others. 

Yours ever, 


955. To John Murray. 

Pisa, Nov. 9, 1821. 

I never read the Memoirs at all, not even since they 
were written ; and I never will : the pain of writing them 
was enough ; you may spare me that of a perusal. Mr. 
Moore has (or may have) a discretionary power to omit 
any repetition, or expressions which do not seem good to 
him, who is a better judge than you or I. 

956. To John Murray. 

Pisa, Nov! I2'. h 1821. 

DEAR SIR, I have marked, on the back of the en- 
closed proof of the letter on M* Wilson, the names of the 
writings, mostly unpublished, which, if collected together, 
would form a volume or two which might be entitled 


Miscellanies. You must recollect, however, that the 
letter, on the British review, signed Chttterbtukf must 
have a note stating that the name of Clutterbiuk was 
adopted long before (a year I think) the publication of 
the Monastery and Abbot. If you don't do this, I shall 
be accused (with the usual justice) of plagiarism from 
Walter Scott. 

The whole of these tracts might be published simply 
and unostentatiously, with the letter on B[owles]'s Pope 
at the head of then. Be careful about their dates. 

Let me know your intention. 

Your hum 1 ? S? 


Opened by me, this day, Nov' i4 l - h 1821, and sent to 
M- Kinnaird. 


957. To John Murray. 

Pisa, Nov! I4*. h 1821. 

DEAR SIR, Enclosed is a lyrical drama, (entitled A 
Mystery, 2 from its subject,) which, perhaps, may arrive 

1. The Monastery opens with an "Introductory Epistle from 

"Captain Clutterbuck, late of His Majesty's Regiment of 

"Infantry to The Author of Waverley." The author of Waverley 
returns the compliment in The Abbot, and The Fortunes of Nigel is 
prefaced by a letter from Captain Clutterbuck to Dr. Dryasdust. 
Byron's "letter on Mr. Wilson," signed " Wortley Clutterbuck," 
is the Reply to Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, printed in Letters ', 
vol. iv. Appendix IX. (See also ibid., p. 385, note I.) 

2. Heaven and Earth. Though revised by Gifford, and printed, 
it was not published till 1822, when it appeared in The Liberal, 
No. ii. pp. 165-206. The Second Part was never written. It 
was commenced, so Byron told Medwin {Conversations, p. 231), "at 
" Ravenna, on the Qth of October last. It occupied about fourteen 
" days. Douglas Kinnaird tells me that he can get no bookseller to 
" publish it. It was offered to Murray, but he is the most timid of 
" God's booksellers, and starts at the title. He has taken a dislike 


in time for the volume. If it should not (for I must have 
the proofs first, as it is not very legibly written) you can 
add it to the volume with the Pulci and Dante. Perhaps 
you might publish it in a separate appendix form of the 
same type, etc., for the purchasers of Cain, so that they 
might bind it up with the new volume ; and then put it 
together with the others in a second edition, supposing a 
second edition possible. You will find it pious enough, I 
trust, at least some of the Chorus might have been 
written by Sternhold and Hopkins themselves for that, 
and perhaps for melody. As it is longer, and more 
lyrical and Greek, than I intended at first, I have not 
divided it into acts, but called what I have sent Part first, 
as there is a suspension of the action, which may either 
close there without impropriety, or be continued in a way 
that I have in view. I wish the first part to be published 
before the second, because, if it don't succeed, it is better 
to stop there than to go on in a fruitless experiment. 

I desire you to acknowledge the arrival of this packet 
by return of post, if you can conveniently, with a proof. 

Your obedient ser!, 


P.S. My wish is to have it published at the same 
time, and, if possible, in the same volume, with the 
others ; because, whatever the merits or demerits of these 
pieces may be, it will perhaps be allowed that each is of 
a different kind, and in a different style; so that, in- 
cluding the prose and the D\pn\ J\uans\, etc., I have at 
least sent you variety during the last year or two. 

The present packet consists of 12 sheets, which will 
make more than fifty printed pages additional to the 

"to that three-syllabled word Mystery, and says, I know not why, 
" that it is another Cain." 

1 821.] FOUR PLAYS. 475 

Volume. I suppose that there is not enough in the four 
plays (or poems) to make two volumes, but they will form 
one large one. 

Two words to say that you have received the packet 
will be enough. 

958. To John Murray. 


SIR, I only received by this day's post the enclosed, 
which you addressed by mistake to Ravenna. I presume 
that the three plays are to be published together ; because, 
if not, I will not permit their separate publication. I 
repeat this, because a passage in your letter makes it 
doubtful. I sent you a fourth by last post (a lyrical 
drama on a scriptural subject "the Deluge"), which 
I could wish to be published at the same time, and (if 
possible and in time) in the same volume. I return you 
the notes (not of " the Doge," as you say by mistake), 
but of the new poems. Most of the packets have, I 
believe, arrived in safety. I wrote to M 1 - K? to accept 
your proposal for the three plays and three cantos of 
jD[on] f[uan], distinctly giving to understand that the 
other poems did not enter into that agreement. 

I am your obed' serv', 

P.S. What is the reason that I see Cain and the 
Foscaris announced, and not Sardanapalus ? 

959. To Thomas Moore. 

Pisa, November 16, 1821. 

There is here Mr. Taaffe, an Irish genius, with whom 
we are acquainted. He hath written a really excellent 


Commentary on Dante, 1 full of new and true information, 
and much ingenuity. But his verse is such as it hath 
pleased God to endue him withal. Nevertheless, he is 
so firmly persuaded of its equal excellence, that he won't 
divorce the Commentary from the traduction, as I ven- 
tured delicately to hint, not having the fear of Ireland 
before my eyes, and upon the presumption of having 
shotten very well in his presence (with common pistols 
too, not with my Manton's) the day before. 

But he is eager to publish all, and must be gratified, 
though the Reviewers will make him suffer more tortures 

I. The first volume of Taaffe's Comment on the Divine Comedy of 
Dante, printed in Italy from the type of Didot, was published in 
1822 by Murray without the author's name. It was reviewed in 
the London Monthly Review (vol. cii. pp. 225-242), but no more 
of the work was published. A letter from Shelley, recommending 
the book to Oilier for publication, is quoted by Professor Dowden 
{Life of Shelley, vol. h. pp. 364, 365). The translation was in 
octosyllabic terza rima, a metre which, in Byron's opinion, did not 
" seem to suit the genius of English poetry it is certainly uncalcu- 
"lated for a work of any length" (Medwin, Conversations of Lord 
Byron, p. 241). In Taaffe's hands it was not successful. "There's 
"Taaffe," said Byron (ibid., p. 243), "is not satisfied with what 
"Carey has done, but he must be traducing him [Dante] too. 
" What think you of that fine line in the Inferno being rendered, as 
" Taaffe has done it ? 

" ' I Mantuan, capering, squalid, squalling.' 

"There's alliteration and inversion enough, surely! I have ad- 
" vised him to frontispiece his book with his own head, Capo di 
" Traditore, 'the head of a traitor ;' then will come the title-page 
" comment Hell 1 " 

John Taaffe was a Knight Commander of the Order of St. John 
of Jerusalem, and wrote its history ( The History of the Holy, Military, 
Sovereign Order of St. John of Jemsalem, 4 vols., London, 1852). 
His privately printed poem, Adelais (2 vols.), also appeared in 
1852. Though Byron calls him a "good fellow," Taaffe was his 
butt at Pisa. The affair with the dragoon (March, 1822), in which 
Byron and Shelley were involved, was due to Taaffe, whom 
Trelawney (decora's of Shelley, Byron, and the Author, ed. 1887, 
p. 122) describes as "a resolute bore, but timid rider." After the 
fray Taaffe disappeared, and it was supposed that he was confined in 
Byron's house, "guarded by bull-dogs" (Prose Works of Shelley, 
ed. H. Buxton Forman, vol. iv. p. 316). Subsequently his valorous 
talk gained him the nickname of " False Taaffe " (ibid.). 


than there are in his original. Indeed, the Notes are 
well worth publication; but he insists upon the trans- 
lation for company, so that they will come out together, 
like Lady C * * t chaperoning Miss * *. I read a letter 
of yours to him yesterday, and he begs me to write to 
you about his Poeshie. He is really a good fellow, 
apparently, and I dare say that his verse is very good 

Now, what shall we do for him? He says that he 
will risk part of the expense with the publisher. He will 
never rest till he is published and abused for he has a 
high opinion of himself and I see nothing left but to 
gratify him, so as to have him abused as little as possible ; 
for I think it would kill him. You must write, then, to 
Jeffrey to beg him not to review him, and I will do the 
same to Gifford, through Murray. Perhaps they might 
notice the Comment without touching the text. But I 
doubt the dogs the text is too tempting. 


I have to thank you again, as I believe I did before, 
for your opinion of Cain, 1 etc. 

I. Moore wrote, September 30, 1821, preferring Sardanapalus to 
The Two Foscari. " But Cain" he continues, " is wonderful 
" terrible never to be forgotten. If I am not mistaken, it will sink 
"deep into the world's heart; and while many will shudder at its 
"blasphemy, all must fall prostrate before its grandeur. Talk of 
"yEschylus and his Prometheus ! here is the true spirit both of the 
" Poet and the Devil." Shelley, writing to Gisborne, April 10, 
1822 (Prose Works of Shelley, ed. H. Buxton Forman, vol. iv. p. 
264), asks, " What think you of Lord Byron's last volume ? In my 
" opinion it contains finer poetry than has appeared in England 
"since the publication of Paradise Regained. Cain is apocalyptic 
" it is a revelation not before communicated to man." 

Goethe and Walter Scott spoke their admiration in similar terms. 
But while men of letters were impressed with the grandeur of the 
poetry, society condemned the poem for its supposed " wickedness." 
" Tell dear George," writes Lady Granville to Lady G. Morpeth, 
January I, 1822 (Letters of Harriet, Countess Granville, vol. i. 
p. 219), "that I think Cain most wicked, but not without feeling 


You are right to allow to settle the claim ; but 

I do not see why you should repay him out of your 
legacy at least, not yet. 1 If you feel about it (as you 
are ticklish on such points), pay him the interest now, 
and the principal when you are strong in cash ; or pay 
him by instalments ; or pay him as I do my creditors 
that is, not till they make me. 

I address this to you at Paris, as you desire. Reply 
soon, and believe me ever, etc. 

P.S. What I wrote to you about low spirits is, how- 
ever, very true. At present, owing to the climate, etc. 
(I can walk down into my garden, and pluck my own 
oranges, and, by the way, have got a diarrhoea in 
consequence of indulging in this meridian luxury of 

" or passion. Parts of it are magnificent, and the effect of Granville 
" reading it out loud to me was that I roared till I could neither 
"hear nor see." Mrs. Piozzi, speaking of Carlile's republication of 
Paine's Age of Reason, says, "Lord Byron's book (Cain) will do 
"more mischief than his; and you see there is a cheap edition 
"advertised, in order to disseminate the poyson. Why, the yellow 
"fever is not half as mischievous" (Autobiography, etc., of Mrs. 
Piozzi, vol. ii. p. 447). Crabb Robinson enters in his Diary for 
March I, 1822 (Diary, vol. ii. p. 227), " Came home early from 
" Aders' to read Cain. The author has not advanced any novelties 
"in his speculations on the origin of evil, but he has stated one or 
" two points with great effect. The book is calculated to spread 
" infidelity by furnishing a ready expression to difficulties which 
" must occur to every one, more or less, and which are passed over 
" by those who confine themselves to scriptural representations. 
" The second act is full of poetic energy, and there is some truth of 
"passion in the scenes between Cain's wife and himself." 

I. " Having discovered that, while I was abroad, a kind friend 
"had, without any communication with myself, placed at the dis- 
" posal of the person who acted for me a large sum for the discharge 
" of this claim, I thought it right to allow the money thus generously 
"destined, to be employed as was intended, and then immediately 
" repaid my friend out of the sum given by Mr. Murray for the 
" manuscript. It may seem obtrusive, I fear, to enter into this 
' ' sort of personal details ; but, without some few words of explana- 
" tion, such passages as the above would be unintelligible " (Moore). 
The "kind friend" was Lord Lansdowne. 

1 82 1.] A CHILD'S HAIR. 479 

proprietorship,) my spirits are much better. You seem to 
think that I could not have written the Vision, etc., under 
the influence of low spirits ; but I think there you err. 1 
A man's poetry is' a distinct faculty, or soul, and has no 
more to do with the every-day individual than the In- 
spiration with the Pythoness when removed from her 

960. To Lady Byron. 3 
(To the care of the Hon. Mrs. Leigh, London.) 

Pisa, November 17, 1821. 

I have to acknowledge the receipt of "Ada's hair," 
which is very soft and pretty, and nearly as dark already 
as mine was at twelve years old, if I may judge from 
what I recollect of some in Augusta's possession, taken 
at that age. But it don't curl, perhaps from its being 
let grow. 

I also thank you for the inscription of the date and 
name, and I will tell you why ; I believe that they are 
the only two or three words of your hand-writing in my 
possession. For your letters I returned ; and except the 
two words, or rather the one word, " Household," written 
twice in an old account book, I have no other. I burnt 
your last note, for two reasons : firstly, it was written in 
a style not very agreeable; and, secondly, I wished to 
take your word without documents, which are the worldly 
resources of suspicious people. 

I suppose that this note will reach you somewhere 

1. "My remark had been hasty and inconsiderate, and Lord 
"Byron's is the view borne out by all experience. Almost all the 
"tragic and gloomy writers have been, in social life, mirthful 
" persons " (Moore). 

2. This letter, never sent to Lady Byron, was enclosed by Byron 
in a letter to Lady Blessington (May 6, 1823), and is printed by 
Moore (Life, pp. 581, 582). Possibly the date should be 1822. 


about Ada's birthday the roth of December, I believe. 
She will then be six, so that in about twelve more I shall 
have some chance of meeting her ; perhaps sooner, if I 
am obliged to go to England by business or otherwise. 
Recollect, however, one thing, either in distance or near- 
ness ; every day which keeps us asunder should, after so 
long a period, rather soften our mutual feelings, which 
must always have one rallying-point as long as our child 
exists, which I presume we both hope will be long after 
either of her parents. 

The time which has elapsed since the separation has 
been considerably more than the whole brief period of 
our union, and the not much longer one of our prior 
acquaintance. We both made a bitter mistake ; but now 
it is over, and irrevocably so. For, at thirty-three on my 
part, and a few years less on yours, though it is no very 
extended period of life, still it is one when the habits and 
thought are generally so formed as to admit of no modi- 
fication; and as we could not agree when younger, we 
should with difficulty do so now. 

I say all this, because I own to you, that, notwith- 
standing every thing, I considered our re-union as not 
impossible for more than a year after the separation ; 
but then I gave up the hope entirely and for ever. But 
this very impossibility of re-union seems to me at least a 
reason why, on all the few points of discussion which can 
arise between us, we should preserve the courtesies of life, 
and as much of its kindness as people who are never to 
meet may preserve perhaps more easily than nearer con- 
nections. For my own part, I am violent, but not 
malignant; for only fresh provocations can awaken my 
resentments. To you, who are colder and more con- 
centrated, I would just hint, that you may sometimes 
mistake the depth of a cold anger for dignity, and a 


worse feeling for duty. I assure you that I bear you now 
(whatever I may have done) no resentment whatever. 
Remember, that if you have injured me in aught, this for- 
giveness is something ; and that, if I have injured you^ it 
is something more still, if it be true, as the moralists say, 
that the most offending are the least forgiving. 

Whether the offence has been solely on my side, or 
reciprocal, or on yours chiefly, I have ceased to reflect 
upon any but two things, viz. that you are the mother 
of my child, and that we shall never meet again. I think 
if you also consider the two corresponding points with 
reference to myself, it will be better^for all three. 

Yours ever, 


961. To Douglas Kinnaird. 

Pisa, November 20, 1821. 

MY DEAR KINNAIRD, I ought to have answered 
your letter long ago, but I am but just subsiding into my 
new residence, after all the bore and bustle of changing. 
The traveller can " take his ease in his inn," but those 
who are settled in a place, and must move with bag and 
baggage, are (as I suppose you know by experience) 
necessarily more tardy in their arrangements. 

I have a very good spacious house, upon the Arno, 
and have nothing to complain of, except that it is less 
quiet than my house in Ravenna. And so you are at 
Rome ? I am glad you have got rid of the gout ; the 
tumour, if not of podagrous origin, will subside of itself. 

At Bologna I met with Rogers, and we crossed the 

Apennines together probably you have got him at Rome 

by this time. I took him to visit our old friend the sexton, 

at the Certosa, (where you and I met with Bianchetti), 

VOL. v. 21 


who looked at him very hard, and seemed well disposed 
to keep him back in his skull-room. The said sexton, 
by the way, brought out his two daughters, to renew our 
acquaintance ; one of them is very pretty, and the other 
sufficiently so. He talked pathetically of the venality of 
the age, in which young virgins could not be espoused 
without a dower: so that, if you are disposed to portion 
them in your way to Milan, you have an opportunity of 
exercising your benevolence. 

I was obliged to set out the next day with [Rogers] ; 
remained with him a day at Florence, and then came on 
alone to Pisa, where I found all my friends in good health 
and plight. [Rogers] looks a little black still about being 
called " venerable," but he did not mention it. It was at 
his own request that I met him in the City of Sausages : 
he is not a bad traveller, but bilious. 

As to Don Juan, it is not impossible that he might 
have visited the city which you recommend to his inspec- 
tion ; but these costermonger days are unfavourable to all 
liberal extension of morality. As to his author, he can 
hardly come on to Rome again for the present ; but some 
day or other probably may. You ask after Bowles ? but 
he has been so extremely civil, that I could not, without 
appearing overbearing and insolent, continue the contro- 
versy ; for I could not answer without saying something 
sharp, and therefore it is better to be silent. 

If Lord Clare and Lord Sligo are at Rome, and are 
of your acquaintance, will you tell them both, with my 
best remembrances, that I will answer their letters soon. 

I find my old friends have got a notion (founded, 
I suppose, on an angry note of mine to a poem), that I 
receive nobody, and renew no old acquaintance. They 
are very much mistaken I only desire no new ones. 
The silly note, (which, by the way, I desired Murray to 

1 82 1.] THORWALDSEN'S BUST. 483 

suppress before publication), was caused by a really 
impudent assertion of an anonymous traveller, who said, 
that he, or she, had frequently declined an introduction 
to me. Now I never in my life proposed, and rarely 
would accept, an English introduction since I came 

Let me hear from you whenever you think it is not 
a bore to do so, and believe me, 

Ever and truly yours, 


962. To John Murray. 

Pisa, Nov. 24 l . h 1821. 

DEAR SIR, By a not very temperate letter from Mr. 
Hobhouse, in a style which savours somewhat of the 
London tavern, I perceive that there has been some 
mistake or misunderstanding about the block of a bust. 
This as I do not understand I cannot explain. I 
addressed it to your care for Mr. Hobhouse, and indeed 
with his name on the direction always understood that 
all expences were to be at my charge, and that the trouble 
would not be greater than you have often been willing to 
take. I thought that as publisher to the Admiralty, etc., 
you would be able more easily to get it through the 
Custom house. Something, however, has happened, it 
seems, to excite Mr. H.'s indignation, and I could really 
wish to be spared such altercations as (were he not one 
of my oldest friends) must have ended hi a total rupture. 
For this you must be partly to blame, as surely my 
directions were extremely clear. 

Of his language to me I can only say that I can 
hardly believe him to have been sober when he used it. 
Not content with an invective about the marble, he has 


launched (uncalled for, for I did not solicit his opinion 
that I recollect at least) into a most violent invective 
upon the subject of Cain (not on a religious account at 
all as he says) and in such terms as make the grossest 
review in the lowest publication that ever I read upon 
any scribbler moderate in comparison. He then pro- 
ceeds (still unasked) upon the subject of the MSS. 
sold by Mr. Moore, and I do not know which of the 
two he bespatters most. Having thus " bespattered the 
" poetical eminence of the day " as Gifford says to 
quiz Timothy Adney * in the Baviad and Meviad, I 
should be glad to know whether there is anything re- 
proachable in the means or the motive of that transaction. 
/ can derive no profit from it and Moore in doing so 
was merely anticipating a legacy at my express desire 
often repeated to him ! Whatever blame then there may 
be is mine and ought to be. Does Mr. Hobhouse 
dispute my right to leave Memoirs of myself for post- 
humous publication ? Have not thousands done it ? 
Are there not or have there not been circumstances 
which require it in my case or would he have me leave 
the tale for him to tell ? But the best is that I happen 
to know he himself keeps and has kept for many years 
a regular diary and disquisition upon all his own personal 
as well as public transactions and has he done this with 
no view to posthumous publication ? I will not believe 
it. I shall not quote his expressions because really some 
of them to me could only be noticed in one way and 
that way neither present distance nor past intimacy, 
were I nearer would induce me to take without some 
overt action accompanied the harshness of his language. 
I have even written him as temperate an answer as I 
believe ever human being did in the like circumstances. 
I. See The Baviad, line 187 and note. 

1 82 1.] THE CAUSE OF A QUARREL. 485 

Is there anything in the MSS. that could be personally 
obnoxious to himself? I am sure I do not remember, 
nor intended it. Mr. Kinnaird and others had read them 
at Paris and noticed none such. 

If there were any I can only say that even that 
would not sanction the tone of his letter, which I showed 
to one or two English and Irish friends of mine here 
who were perfectly astonished at the whole of it. I do 
not allude to the opinions (which may or may not be 
founded) but to the language which seems studiously 
insulting. You see, Murray, what a scene you have super- 
induced because the original sin seems to have been 
about this foolish bust, or I am convinced that he would 
have expressed his opinions less in the Election style. 
However I am more hurt than angry for I cannot afford 
to lose an old friend for a fit of ill-humour. 

Yours ever, 

P.S. Have you publicated the three plays in one 
volume that will be the best way? And I wish to 
know what you think about doing with the Miscellanies 
as I have formed no positive determination about them 
the prose ones I mean. The " poeshie " you must publish 
as heretofore decided but whether with or without the 
prose I leave to your pleasure As Listen says that " is 
" all hoptional you know." x 

Have you given the " Irish Avatar " to Mr. Moore ? 
as I requested you to do ? You are a pretty fellow upon 
the whole for making a confusion. 

I. In a note to Peacock's Headlong Hall (Works, ed. 1875, vol. i. 
p. i), the editor, Thomas Cole, C.B., says, "Liston, in one of his 
"farces, used to make a strong point, when asked to 'remember 
" the coachman,' by dividing sixpence between guard and coach - 
" men, and explaining that the gift was ' hoptional.' " 


963. To John Murray. 

Pisa, December 4, 1821. 

DEAR SIR, By extracts in the English papers, in 
your holy Ally, Galignani's Messenger, I perceive that 
"the two greatest examples of human vanity in the 
" present age " are, firstly, " the ex-Emperor Napoleon," 
and secondly, " his Lordship, etc., the noble poet," mean- 
ing your humble servant, " poor guiltless I." 

Poor Napoleon ! he little dreamed to what " vile 
" comparisons " the turn of the Wheel would reduce him ! 
I cannot help thinking, however, that had our learned 
brother of the newspaper office seen my very mode- 
rate answer to the very scurrile epistle of my radical 
patron, John Hobhouse, M.P., he would have thought the 
thermometer of my " Vanity " reduced to a very decent 
temperature. By the way you do not happen to know 
whether Mrs. Fry had commenced her reform of the 
prisoners at the time when Mr. Hobhouse was in 
Newgate? there are some of his phrases, and much of 
his style (in that same letter), which led me to suspect 
that either she had not, or that he had profited less than 
the others by her instructions. Last week I sent back 
the deed of Mr. Moore signed and witnessed. It was 
inclosed to Mr. Kinnaird with a request to forward it 
to you. I have also transmitted to him my opinions 
upon your proposition, etc., etc., but addressed them to 

I have got here into a famous old feudal palazzo, 1 on 

I. '"It is one of those marble piles that seem built for 
' eternity, whilst the family whose name it bears no longer exists,' 
' said Shelley, as we entered a hall that seemed built for giants. ' I 
' remember the lines in the Inferno* said I : ' a Lanfranchi was 
' one of the persecutors of Ugolino.' ' The same," answered 
' Shelley ; ' you will see a picture of Ugolino and his sons in his 
' room. Fletcher, his valet, is as superstitious as his master, and 

1 82 1.] A HAUNTED PALACE. 487 

the Arno, large enough for a garrison, with dungeons 
below and cells in the walls, and so full of Ghosts, that 
the learned Fletcher (my valet) has begged leave to 
change his room, and then refused to occupy his new 
room, because there were more ghosts there than in the 
other. It is quite true that there are most extraordinary 
noises (as in all old buildings), which have terrified the 
servants so as to incommode me extremely. There is 
one place where people were evidently walled up; for 
there is but one possible passage, broken through the wall, 
and then meant to be closed again upon the inmate. The 
house belonged to the Lanfranchi family, (the same men- 
tioned by Ugolino in his dream, as his persecutor with 
Sismondi,) and has had a fierce owner or two in its time. 
The staircase, etc., is said to have been built by Michel 
Agnolo (sic). It is not yet cold enough for a fire. What 
a climate ! 

I am, however, bothered about these spectres, (as they 
say the last occupants were, too,) of whom I have as yet 
seen nothing, nor, indeed, heard (myself); but all the 
other ears have been regaled by all kinds of supernatural 
sounds. The first night I thought I heard an odd noise, 
but it has not been repeated. I have now been here 
more than a month. 


P.S. Pray send me two or three dozen of "Acton's 

' says the house is haunted, so that he cannot sleep for rumbling 
1 noises overhead, which he compares to the rolling of bowls. No 
'wonder; old Lanfranchi's ghost is unquiet, and walks at night.' 
' The palace was of such size, that Lord Byron only occupied the 
' first floor ; and at the top of the staircase leading to it was the 
' English bull-dog, whose chain was long enough to guard the door, 
' and prevent the entrance of strangers ; he, however, knew Shelley, 
' growled, and let us pass." Medwin, Conversations of Lord Byron, 
November 20, 1821, pp. 3, 4. 


" corn-rubbers " in a parcel by the post -packed dry and 
well if you can. 

I have received safely the parcel containing the Seal 
the E. Review and some pamphlets, etc. The others 
are I presume upon their way. 

Are there not designs from Faust? Send me some, 
and a translation of it, if such there is. Also of Goethe's 
life if such there be ; if not the original German. 

964. To John Sheppard. 1 

Pisa, December 8, 1821. 

SIR, I have received your letter. I need not say, 
that the extract which it contains has affected me, because 

I. John Sheppard (1785-1879), a clothier of Frome, wrote 
poetry, books of travel, and devotional works. His Thoughts pre- 
parative or persuasive to Private Devotion (1823) was widely read. 
The following is the letter which Byron is answering : 

"The Iron Gates, Frome, Somerset, Nov' 21, 1821. 

" MY LpRD, More than two years ago a lovely and beloved wife 
1 was taken from me, after a very short union, by lingering disease. 
' She possessed unvarying gentleness and fortitude, and a piety so 
1 retiring as rarely to disclose itself in words, but so influential as to 
' produce uniform benevolence of conduct. In the last hour of life 
' (after a farewell look on a lately-born and only infant, for whom 
'she had evinced inexpressible affection) her last whispers were, 
' ( God's happiness ! ' ' God's happiness ! ' 

" Since the second anniversary of her decease I have read some 
' papers which no one had seen during her life, and which contain 
'her most secret thoughts. I am induced to communicate to your 
' Lordship a passage from these papers which there is no doubt 
' refers to yourself, as I have more than once heard the writer men- 
' tion your agility on the rocks at Hastings. 

" ' Oh ! my God, I take encouragement from the assurance of Thy 
' word, to pray to Thee in behalf of one for whom I have lately been 
' much interested. May the person to whom I allude, and who is 
' now we fear as much distinguished for his neglect of Thee as for 
' the transcendent talents Thou hast bestowed on him, be awakened 
' to a sense of his own danger, and led to seek that peace of mind 
'in a proper sense of religion which he has found this world's 
' enjoyments unable to prorure. Do Thou grant that his future 
' example may be productive of far more extensive benefit than his 
' past conduct and writings have been of evil, and may the Sun of 


it would imply a want of all feeling to have read it with 
indifference. Though I am not quite sure that it was 
intended by the writer for me, yet the date, the place 
where it was written, with some other circumstances that 
you mention, render the allusion probable. But for 
whomever it was meant, I have read it with all the 
pleasure which can arise from so melancholy a topic. 
I say pleasure because your brief and simple picture of 

' Righteousness which we trust will at some future period arise on 
' him be bright in proportion to the darkness of those clouds which 
' guilt has raised around him ; and the balm which it bestows 
1 healing and soothing in proportion to the keenness of that agony 
' which the punishment of his vices has inflicted on him. May the 
' hope, that the sincerity of my own efforts for the attainment of 
' holiness and the approval of my own love to the great Author of 
' Religion will render this prayer and every other for the welfare 
' of mankind more efficacious, cheer me in the path of duty : but 
' let me not forget that while we are permitted to animate ourselves 
' to exertion by every innocent motive, these are but the lesser 
'streams which may serve to increase the current, but which de- 
' prived of the grand fountain of good, a deep conviction of inborn 
' sin, and firm belief in the efficacy of Christ's atonement for the 
' salvation of those who trust in Him and really seek to serve Him, 
' would soon dry up and leave us as barren in every virtue as 
' before. 

" 'July 31? 1814, Hastings.' 

" There is nothing, my Lord, in this extract which in a literary 
' sense can at all interest you ; but it may perhaps appear to you 
' worthy of reflexion how deep and expansive a concern for the 
1 happiness of others the Christian faith can awaken in the midst of 
' youth and prosperity. Here is nothing poetical and splendid, as 
' in the expostulatory homage of M. De Lamartine, but here is the 
' sublime, my Lord ; for this intercession was offered on your account 
' to the Supreme Source of happiness. It sprang from a faith more 
' confirmed than that of the French poet, and from a charity which 
' in combination with faith, shewed its power unimpaired amidst 
' the languors and pains of approaching dissolution. I will hope 
' that a prayer which I am sure was deeply sincere may not be 
' always unavailing. 

" It would add nothing, my Lord, to the fame with which your 
' genius has surrounded you, for an unknown and obscure individual 
' to express his admiration of it. I had rather be numbered with 
' those who wish and pray that ' wisdom from above,' and ' peace 
' and joy ' may enter such a mind. 



the life and demeanour of the excellent person whom I 
trust you will again meet, cannot be contemplated with- 
out the admiration due to her virtues, and her pure and 
unpretending piety. Her last moments were particularly 
striking ; and I do not know that, in the course of read- 
ing the story of mankind, and still less in my observations 
upon the existing portion, I ever met with any thing so 
unostentatiously beautiful. Indisputably, the firm be- 
lievers in the Gospel have a great advantage over all 
others, for this simple reason, that, if true, they will 
have their reward hereafter ; and if there be no hereafter, 
they can be but with the infidel in his eternal sleep, 
having had the assistance of an exalted hope, through 
life, without subsequent disappointment, since (at the 
worst for them) " out of nothing, nothing can arise," not 
even sorrow. But a man's creed does not depend upon 
himself: who can say, I will believe this, that, or the 
other? and least of all, that which he least can com- 
prehend. I have, however, observed, that those who 
have begun life with extreme faith, have in the end 
greatly narrowed it, as Chillingworth, Clarke (who ended 
as an Arian), Bayle, and Gibbon (once a Catholic), and 
some others ; while, on the other hand, nothing is more 
common than for the early sceptic to end in a firm belief, 
like Maupertuis, and Henry Kirke White. 

But my business is to acknowledge your letter, and 
not to make a dissertation. I am obliged to you for 
your good wishes, and more than obliged by the extract 
from the papers of the beloved object whose qualities 
you have so well described in a few words. I can assure 
you that all the fame which ever cheated humanity into 
higher notions of its own importance would never weigh 
in my mind against the pure and pious interest which a 
virtuous being may be pleased to take in my welfare. In 

l82I.] ADA'S BIRTHDAY. 491 

this point of view, I would not exchange the prayer of 
the deceased in my behalf for the united glory of Homer, 
Caesar, and Napoleon, could such be accumulated upon a 
living head. Do me at least the justice to suppose, that 

" Video meliora proboque," ' 

however the " deteriora sequor " may have been applied 
to my conduct. 

I have the honour to be 

Your obliged and obedient servant, 


P.S. I do not know that I am addressing a clergy- 
man ; but I presume that you will not be affronted by 
the mistake (if it is one) on the address of this letter. 
One who has so well explained, and deeply felt, the 
doctrines of religion, will excuse the error which led me 
to believe him its minister. 

965. To John Murray. 

Pisa, December IO, 1821. 

DEAR SIR, This day and this hour, (one, on the 
clock,) my daughter is six years old. I wonder when I 
shall see her again, or if ever I shall see her at all. 2 

1. Ovid, Met., vii. 20 

" I know the right, and I approve it too ; 
Condemn the wrong, and yet the wrong pursue." 

2. " During our drive and ride this evening, Lord Byron declined 
' our usual amusement of pistol-firing, without assigning a cause. 
' He hardly spoke a word during the first half-hour, and it was 
' evident that something weighed heavily on his mind. There was 
' a sacredness in his melancholy that I dared not interrupt. At 
' length he said, ' This is Ada's birthday, and might have been the 

' happiest day of my life : as it is ! ' He stopped, seemingly 

'ashamed of having betrayed his feelings It lasted till 

' Me came within a mile of the Argive gate. There our silence was 
' all at once interrupted by shrieks that seemed to proceed from a 


I have remarked a curious coincidence, which almost 
looks like a fatality. 

My mother, my wife, my daughter, my half-sister, my 
sister's mother, my natural daughter (as far at least as / 
am concerned), and myself, are all only children. 

My father, by his first marriage with Lady Conyers 
(an only child), had only my sister ; and by his second 
marriage with another only child, an only child again. 
Lady Byron, as you know, was one also, and so is my 
daughter, etc. 

Is not this rather odd such a complication of only 
children? By the way, send me my daughter Ada's 
miniature. I have only the print, which gives little or 
no idea of her complexion. 

I heard the other day from an English voyager, that 
her temper is said to be extremely violent. Is it so? 
It is not unlikely considering her parentage. My temper 
is what it is as you may perhaps divine, and my Lady's 
was a nice little sullen nucleus of concentrated Savageness 
to mould my daughter upon, to say nothing of her two 
Grandmothers, both of whom, to my knowledge, were as 
pretty specimens of female Spirit as you might wish to 
see on a Summer's day. 

I have answered your letters, etc., either to you in 
person, or through M' D. K? 

The broken Seal and Edinburgh R\eview~\, etc., arrived 
safely. The others are I presume upon their way. 

Yours, etc., 

N. B. 

' cottage by the side of the road. We pulled up our horses to 
' enquire of a contadino .... He told us, that a widow had just 
' lost her only child, and that the sounds proceeded from the wail- 
' ings of some women over the corpse. Lord Byron was much 
' affected ... 'I shall not be happy,' said he, ' till I hear that 
' my daughter is well. I have a great horror of anniversaries.' " 
Medwin, Conversations of Lord Byron, pp. 145, 146. 

1821.] THE GIAOUR STORY. 493 

966. To Thomas Moore. 

Pisa, December 12, 1821. 

What you say about Galignani's two biographies is 
very amusing : and, if I were not lazy, I would certainly 
do what you desire. But I doubt my present stock of 
facetiousness that is, of good serious humour, so as not 
to let the cat out of the bag. 1 I wish you would under- 
take it. I will forgive and indulge you (like a Pope) 
beforehand, for any thing ludicrous, that might keep 
those fools in their own dear belief that a man is a loup 

I suppose I told you that the Giaour story had 
actually some foundation on facts ; or, if I did not, you 
will one day find it in a letter of Lord Sligo's, 2 written to 
me after the publication of the poem. I should not like 
marvels to rest upon any account of my own, and shall 
say nothing about it. However, the real incident is still 
remote enough from the poetical one, being just such as, 
happening to a man of any imagination, might suggest 
such a composition. The worst of any real adventures is 

that they involve living people else Mrs. 's, 's, 

etc., are as " German to the matter " as Mr. Maturin could 
desire for his novels. * * * 

The consummation you mentioned for poor Taafife 
was near taking place yesterday. Riding pretty sharply 

1. " Mr. Galignani having expressed a wish to be furnished with 
' a short Memoir of Lord Byron, for the purpose of prefixing it to 
' the French edition of his works, I had said jestingly in a preceding 
' letter to his Lordship, that it would be but a fair satire on the dis- 
' position of the world to 'bemonster his features,' if he would 
' write for the public, English as well as French, a sort of mock- 
' heroic account of himself, outdoing, in horrors and wonders, all 
' that had yet been related or believed of him, and leaving even 
' Goethe's story of the double murder at Florence far behind " 


2. See Letters, vol. ii. p. 257, note 2. 


after Mr. Medwin and myself in turning the corner of 
a lane between Pisa and the hills, he was spilt, and, 
besides losing some claret on the spot, bruised himself 
a good deal, but is in no danger. He was bled, and 
keeps his room. As I was ahead of him some hundred 
yards, I did not see the accident; but my servant, who 
was behind, did, and says the horse did not fall the 
usual excuse of floored equestrians. As TaafFe piques 
himself upon his horsemanship, and his horse is really a 
pretty horse enough, I long for his personal narrative, 
as I never yet met the man who would fairly claim a 
tumble as his own property. 

Could not you send me a printed copy of the " Irish 
" Avatar ? " I do not know what has become of Rogers 
since we parted at Florence. 

Don't let the Angles keep you from writing. Sam 
told me that you were somewhat dissipated in Paris, 
which I can easily believe. Let me hear from you at 
your best leisure. 

Ever and truly, etc. 

P.S. December 13. 

I enclose you some lines written not long ago, which 
you may do what you like with, as they are very harm- 
less. 1 Only, if copied, or printed, or set, I could wish it 
more correctly than in the usual way, in which one's 
" nothings are monstered," as Coriolanus says. 

You must really get TaafFe published he never will 
rest till he is so. He is just gone with his broken head 
to Lucca, at my desire, to try to save a man from being 

I. The lines beginning 

"Oh ! talk not to me of a name great in story ; 
The days of our Youth are the days of our Glory," etc. 

See Detached Thoughts, p. 466 (118). 


{From a Silhouette cut in paper by Mrs. Leigh Hunt.) 

[To face p. 494. 


burnt. 1 The Spanish * * *, that has her petticoats over 
Lucca, had actually condemned a poor devil to the stake, 
for stealing the wafer box out of a church. Shelley and 
I, of course, were up in arms against this piece of piety, 
and have been disturbing every body to get the sentence 
changed. Taaffe is gone to see what can be done. 


967. To Percy Bysshe Shelley. 

December 12, 1821. 

MY DEAR SHELLEY, Enclosed is a note for you from 
His reasons are all very true, I dare say, and it 

might and may be of personal inconvenience to us. But 
that does not appear to me to be a reason to allow a 
being to be burnt without trying to save him. To save 
him by any means but remonstrance is of course out of 
the question ; but I do not see why a temperate remon- 
strance should hurt any one. Lord Guilford is the man, 
if he would undertake it. He knows the Grand Duke 
personally, and might, perhaps, prevail upon him to inter- 
fere. But, as he goes to-morrow, you must be quick, or it 
will be useless. Make any use of my name that you please. 

Yours ever, etc. 

968. To Thomas Moore. 


I send you the two notes, 2 which will tell you the 
story I allude to of the Auto da Fe. Shelley's allusion 

1. The report of the intended auto dafe at Lucca was picked up 
by Medwin at a bookseller's shop in Pisa (Conversations, pp. 267- 
270). The foundation for the story seems to have been a proclama- 
tion by the Duchess of Lucca, Maria Louisa, widow of Louis, King 
of Etruria, and daughter of Charles IV. of Spain, making her 
subjects liable to Spanish law. The prisoner escaped to Florence. 

2. The following are the two notes which were enclosed, as 
printed in Moore's Life, p. 546 : 


to his " fellow-serpent," l Is a buffoonery of mine. 
Goethe's Mephistofilus calls the serpent who tempted 
Eve "my aunt, the renowned snake;" and I always 
insist that Shelley is nothing but one of her nephews, 
walking about on the tip of his tail. 

To Lord Byron. 

"Two o'clock, Tuesday Morning. 

"Mv DEAR LORD, Although strongly persuaded that the story 
' must be either an entire fabrication, or so gross an exaggeration 
'as to be nearly so ; yet, in order to be able to discover the truth 
' beyond all doubt, and to set your mind quite at rest, I have taken 
' the determination to go myself to Lucca this morning. Should it 
' prove less false than I am convinced it is, I shall not fail to exert 
' myself in eveiy way that I can imagine may have any success. Be 
1 assured of this. 

" Your Lordship's most truly, 

[TAAFFE ?]. 

"P.S. To prevent bavardage, I prefer going in person to 
" sending my servant with a letter. It is better for you to mention 
"nothing (except, of course, to Shelley) of my excursion. The 
" person I visit there is one on whom I can have every dependence 
" m every way, both as to authority and truth." 

To Lord Byron. 

" Thursday Morning. 

" MY DEAR LORD BYRON, I hear this morning that the design, 
' which certainly had been in contemplation, of burning my fellow- 
' serpent, has been abandoned, and that he has been condemned to 
' the galleys. Lord Guilford is at Leghorn ; and as your courier 
' applied to me to know whether he ought to leave your letter for 
' him or not, I have thought it best since this information to tell 
' him to take it back. 

" Ever faithfully yours, 


I. " Staub soil er fressen, tmd mit Lust, 

Wie meine Muhme, die beriihmte Schlange." 

Goethe, Faust, Prolog., 92, 93. 




(See p. 14, note I, and p. 73, note 2.) 

(i) Letter from Shelley to Byron. 

" MY DEAR LORD BYRON, I have no conception of what 
Clare's letter to you contains, and but an imperfect one of the sub- 
ject of her correspondence with you at all. One or two of her 
letters, but not lately, I have indeed seen ; but as I thought them 
extremely childish and absurd, and requested her not to send them, 
and she afterwards told me she had written and sent others in place 
of them, I cannot tell if those which I saw on that occasion were 
sent to you or not. I wonder, however, at your being provoked at 
what Clare writes ; though that she should write what is provoking 
is very probable. You are conscious of performing your duty to 
Allegra, and your refusal to allow her to visit Clare at this distance 
you conceive to be part of that duty. That Clare should have 
wished to see her is natural. That her disappointment should vex 
her, and her vexation make her write absurdly, is all in the natural 
order of things. But, poor thing, she is very unhappy and in bad 
health, and she ought to be treated with as much indulgence as 
possible. The weak and the foolish are in this respect like kings ; 
they can do no wrong. 

" I think I have said enough to excuse myself for declining to be 
the instrument of the communication of her wishes or sentiments to 
you ; of course I should be always happy to convey yours to her. 
But at present I do not see that you need trouble yourself further 
than to take care that she should receive regular intelligence of 
Allegra's health, etc. You can write to me, or make your secretary 
write to her (as you do not like writing yourself), or arrange it in 
any manner most convenient to yourself. Of course I should be 
happy to hear from you on any subject. 

"Galignani tells us that on the iyth of August you arrived in 
London, and immediately drove to the Queen's house with dis- 
patches from Italy. If your wraith indited the note which I received, 

VOL. V. 2 K 


he also will receive this answer. Do you take no part in the impor- 
tant nothings which the most powerful assembly in the world is now 
engaged in weighing with such ridiculous deliberation ? At least, 
if ministers fail in their object, shall you or not return as a candidate 
for any part of the power they will lose ? Their successors, I hope, 
and you, if you will be one of them, will exert that power to other 
purposes than their's. As to me, I remain in Italy for the present. 
If you really go to England, and leave Allegra in Italy, I think you 
had better arrange so that Clare might see Allegra in your absence 
if she pleases. The objections now existing against a visit either to 
or from her, would be then suspended ; and such a concession would 
prevent all future contention on the subject. People only desire 
with great eagerness that which is forbidden or withheld. Besides 
that, you should shew yourself above taking offence at any thing she 
has written, which of course you are. 

" It would give me great pleasure to hear from you, and to 
receive news of more cantos of Don yuan, or something else. You 
have starved us lately. Mrs. S. unites with me in best regards, and 
I remain, my dear Lord Byron, 

" Your very sincere, etc., 


"Pisa, Sep. 17, 1820. 

"P.S. If I were to go to the Levant or Greece, could you be 
of any service to me? If so, I should be very much obliged to you." 

(2) .Letter from Jane Clairmont to Byron. 

"I have just received the letter which announces the putting 
Allegra into a convent. Before I quitted Geneva you promised 
me verbally, it is true that my child, whatever its sex, should 
never be away from one of its parents. This promise originated in 
my being afflicted at your idea of placing it under the protection of 
Mrs. Leigh. This promise is violated, not only slightly, but in a 
mode and by a conduct most intolerable to my feeling of love for 
Allegra. It has been my desire and my practice to interfere with 
you as little as possible ; but were I silent now, you would adopt 
this as an argument against me at some future period. I therefore 
represent to you that the putting Allegra, at her years, into a con- 
vent, away from any relation, is to me a serious and deep affliction. 
Since you first gave the hint of your desire, I have been at some 
pains to inquire into their system, and I find that the state of the 
children is nothing less than miserable. I see no reason to believe 
that convents are better regulated at Ravenna, a secondary, out-of- 
the-way town of the Roman States, than at Florence, the capital of 
Tuscany. Every traveller and writer upon Italy joins in condemning 
them, which would be alone sufficient testimony, without adverting 
to the state of ignorance and profligacy of the Italian women, all 
pupils of convents. They are bad wives, most unnatural mothers ; 
licentious and ignorant, they are the dishonour and unhappiness of 
society. This then, with every advantage in your power, of wealth, 



of friends, is the education you have chosen for your daughter. This 
step will procure to you an innumerable addition of enemies and of 
blame, for it can be regarded but in one light by the virtuous, of 
whatever sect or denomination. Allegra's misfortune, in being 
condemned by her father to a life of ignorance and degradation, in 
being deprived of the advantages which the belonging to the most 
enlightened country in the world entitle her to, and of the protection 
and friendship of her parents' friends (so essential to the well-being 
of a child in her desolate situation), by the adoption of a different 
religion and of an education known to be contemptible, will be 
received by the world as a perfect fulfilment on your part of all the 
censures passed upon you. How will Lady Byron never yet 
justified for her conduct towards you be soothed, and rejoice in the 
honourable safety of herself and child, and all the world be bolder 
to praise her prudence, my unhappy Allegra furnishing the con- 
demning evidence ! I alone, misled by love to believe you good, 
trusted to you, and now I reap the fruits. 

"I do not describe my feelings of sorrow that this is to be 
Allegra's destiny, because I know what an excitement it would be to 
you to continue and if possible to augment the burthen. But I entreat 
you to retract this step, if not for her sake, at least for your own. 
Be assured that no reasons can be found to justify this measure. If 
you doubt that passion may hinder my judging rightly about it, 
take the opinion of Mrs. Hoppner a lady every way worthy your 
attention. Her great knowledge of the world will ensure you the 
most safe and laudable conduct to be pursued with regard to 
Allegra's education, and I feel so much confidence in her goodness 
and sound judgment, that I should submit to her decision with the 
greatest pleasure. I resigned Allegra to you that she might be 
benefitted by advantages which I could not give her. It was 
natural for me to expect that your daughter would become an object 
of affection, and would receive an education becoming the child of 
an English nobleman. Since, however, you are indifferent to her, 
or that the purity of your principles does not allow you to cherish 
a natural child, I entreat you, as an act of justice, to allow the 
following scheme to be put into execution, that Allegra may have 
the benefits her mother can procure to her. I propose to place her, 
at my own expense, in one of the very best English boarding- 
schools, where, if she is deprived of the happiness of a home and 
paternal care, she at least would receive an English education, 
which would enable her, after many years of painful and unpro- 
tected childhood, to be benefitted by the kindness and affection of 
her parents' friends. This school shall be chosen by your own 
friends. I will see her only so often as they shall decide, because 
I hope to induce you, by this sacrifice of myself, to yield the 
child to proper hands. By adopting this plan you will save your 
credit and also the expense ; and the anxiety for her safety and 
well-being need never trouble you ; you will become as free as if 
you had no such tie. I entreat you earnestly not to be obdurate 
on this point. Believe me, in putting Allegra into a convent to 
ease yourself of the trouble, and to hurt me in my affection for her, 


you have done almost a greater injury to yourself than to me or her. 
So blind is hatred ! I have already mentioned the evil to your 
reputation ; besides which, in separating her from you at this early 
age, her attachment is weakened, and the difference of religion, 
added to the evil stories concerning you, will, in a few years more, 
completely alienate her from you. Such is the miserable and 
unsatisfactory state produced by this step to all three. To none 
does it procure one atom of advantage or pleasure. I add another 
remark upon this convent scheme : If it is a place suited to Allegra, 
why need you pay a double pension to ensure her proper treatment 
and attention ? This little fact, coming from yourself, says every 
thing in condemnation of the plan. I know not how to address 
you in terms fit to awaken acquiescence to the above requests ; 
yet neither do I know why you should doubt the wisdom and 
propriety of what I propose, seeing that I have never, with regard 
to Allegra, sought anything but her advantage, even at the price 
of total unhappiness to myself. ' My heart,' to use the words of an 
author, ' is rather wise because it loves much than because it knows 
much," and the great affection I feel for her makes me to arrive at 
the knowledge of what is her good, almost as it were instinctively. 
I pray you to allow yourself to be advised on this point, and I 
mention Mdme. Hoppner because she is friendlily disposed towards 
you, and enabled by her situation to judge fairly what difference 
exists between an Italian and English education. You would have 
had this letter much sooner, but I was absent at Florence when the 
letter from Ravenna arrived at Pisa. They, not willing to annoy 
me whe.n on a visit, kept it some time ; but as my stay became 
longer, sent it to me. I beg you will address to Pisa as usual, to 
which city I return in another week. I cannot say how anxiously 
I expect your answer. Since I read the letter I have not had a 
moment's content, fearing to allow myself ease, lest Allegra should 
be suffering from neglect. Nor can I be happy until some plan is 
decided upon of a real advantage to her. I am desirous also of 
knowing how far Bagna-cavallo is from Ravenna, and if on the sea- 
coast ; also whether Allegra is entered only for a short time or for 
a fixed period. The answer to these questions is of the greatest 
importance to me. Again, I entreat you to yield, so that we may 
both be easy about her ; I not suffering from anxiety and injury, 
nor you from the contention in your heart of hatred and pride 
which my entreaties awaken. I know that expressions of affection 
and friendship only exasperate you, yet I cannot help wishing you 
as much happiness as you inflict unjust misery upon me. Then, 
indeed, you would be blessed. 

"Florence, March 24, 1821." 

Across the top at the end of this letter, Byron has 

" D? HOPPNER, The moral part of the letter upon the Italians, 


etc., comes with an excellent grace from the writer now living with 
a man and his wife and having planted a child in the R. Foundling, 
etc. With regard to the rest of the letter, you know as well as any 
one how far it is or is not correct." 

(3) Letter from Shelley to Jane Clairmont. 

" Pisa, Sunday